North Korea: Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)

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The gate to the North Korean side of the Korean Demilitarised Zone. The large concrete block above the entrance is an anti tank measure which can be dropped on to the road should the imperialists ever think they want to pop across the border and turn Pyongyang back to the dark side.  We stopped in a small room to be shown a map of the area and receive a talk from a North Korean Colonel who told us “not to be afraid.”

Mural to Korean unification at the gate to the DMZ.

There is a small farming town called Kij?ng-dong (described by the American Army as “Propoganda Village” as the inhabitants are apparently bused in every day to pretend to people in South Korea that they enjoy a wonderful life there) on the North Korean side of the DMZ and our guides said the land is extremely fertile.

North Korean soldiers guard the border at the Joint Security Area. The concrete line next to the two soldiers facing each other is the Military Demarcation Line (DML) which marks the border between North and South Korea.

There are seven huts along the DML. The large building on the far side is where the South Korean and American troops are based. They were not around on the day we visited as the two sides take turns to show tourists around. I took this shot from North Korean Army building which the Americans apparently claim is a facade and only two metres deep. I can confirm it is real!

We went into this hut which is where all negotiations since 1953 have been held. The DML goes right through the hut so we were able to walk to the other side of the hut and be in South Korea. A North Korean soldiers guarded the door at the far end to make sure we didn’t get any ideas about walking out on the South Korean side.

Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ): Wikipedia

Joint Security Area: Wikipedia / Google Maps

James Mullarkey

I write about the web and digital, mediocre sporting performances and places I've been, for this blog and only this blog.