Saturday, November 5, 2016

DMZ (Demiliterisation zone)

A day spent on a tour of the zoned area between North and South Korea. Interesting.
So far they have found 4 tunnels leading underground from the North to Seoul, one of them being 110 Km long. They say there could be many more not yet found.
The DMZ is a 4 km area with the border in between.
 The river that flows from the north towards the south, the edges are razor fenced with outlook posts, people have tried to come down the river and illegally enter the south.
 Korean War Veterans Memorial
 
 

 Branch of the Prayer Tree.

 Along the road edges are these signs to show that there are still millions of landmines undetected in the area.

 Looking towards North Korea.

 This is the last railway station in South Korea. There is only one train a day.
Pyeongyang, the capital of North Korea, is sign posted on a platform in the hope that one day the train will be allowed to travel to the city and beyond.
 
 "Grandmother's Letter"
An exhibition at the station using water wheels.

 Ribbons of Hope along the DMZ border.

 Inside the United Nations meeting room where the 2 parties come together as neutral.
You are only allowed to take photos in these 2 areas, the camera has to be pointed to the North.
You are checked for clothing, no bright colours, no torn jeans, no scruffy hair, no phones only for the purpose of photos, no handbags etc. Passports are checked with regimentation 5 times on the bus.
 Facing towards North Korea, one guy took a selfie with his phone, he was facing the South, and was told very quickly it was a no go. If there are North Korean soldiers standing on the other side, they are forbidden to speak to each other across the line.
We were allowed to take a photo of the actual border line, the camera had to face the North out of the window.
The old Unification Bridge.
Mr Jeoung Jnr, started the company Hyundi as a thief. His family was from North Korea. His Father sold a cow to pay for his Daughter's Wedding, Mr Jeoung Jnr stole the money and went to Seoul to build his future. He became a billionaire but sadly the war started and the borders were closed.
One day he rebuilt the Unification Bridge and took 1,000 cows across it to return to his Father. One of cows was pregnant and gave birth on the bridge.
The have been a few tines where the border has been opened and some families have been allowed to meet for a day. 

5 comments:

  1. The treadle machine sculpture is rather fascinating.

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  2. Sadly it is unlikely that this country will every be reunited. Heartbreaking for the broken families, particularly as they age. The various ribbons and sculptures are most poignant.

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  3. A very interesting journey for you. A sad reminder of the plight of families separated as are the two halves of the country.

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  4. The World Jamboree I went to was along the border to the north east. I have never been in the middle of nowhere that was so devoid of nature. No trees, no plants, no grass or even weeds. No sound of birds singing or even crickets. They must have put chemicals on the area to make it that bare and I wonder how healthy it was for scouts to camp there for a week.

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  5. It amazes me that such an area has become a tourist attraction.

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