The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was created as a provision of the armistice agreement which, technically, ended hostilities on 27 July, 1953. Under the provisions of this agreement, belligerents were to withdraw 2,000 meters on either side of the line of contact as of the ceasefire date. Because the site of negotiations, Panmunjom, was so far below the pre-war border (the famous 38th parallel), the United Nations command determined that a militarized buffer zone was necessary between the DMZ and the civilian population. It was therefore determined, with the concurrence of the Korean government, that civilians would not be permitted to resettle north of the Imjin. To this day, the area north of the river is a military preserve, heavily mined, and patrolled constantly day and night. The area within the DMZ has been permitted to return to nature. The war which was never declared has never truly ended.