The DMZ | South Korea
The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ is a de facto border barrier, which runs in the vicinity of the 38th parallel north. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. It was created as part of the Korean Armistice Agreement between North Korea, the People's Republic of China, and the United Nations Command forces in 1953. It's 250Km long and roughly 4Km wide and is the most heavily militarized border in the world.
I signed up to go on a tour, which is the only way you an go and included a visit to the Joint Security Area, The JSA. It's where the the North and South Korean forces stand face to face. In the above photo, you can see the North Korean guy looking through his binoculars at us, (zoomed in image below). The hut on the left is where they sit down to 'talk'.
Taking photos is severely restricted; "You can take your photos here, just to the front, not to the sides!"
Again in the above photo, you see the guy on the right, half of his body hidden behind the hut, "less exposure to a bullet" we were told. I wonder if the guy on the left gets more danger money. All looks like a load of propaganda.. The guards stand for ages in a martial arts stance, a bit like boxers do before a big fight, staring their opponent out.
So when the tourists from the south side visit the area, in side the left hut, 1 guard stands next to the door which leads to the north and another one, stands, one foot in the north and one in the south at the end of the table which stands on the border. When the tourists from the north side come, there are 2 North Korean guards, one at the end of the table and one next to the door which leads to the south.
The two countries are technically still at war since the 1950-1953 war ended in a truce.
Inside the JSA conference room. The guard stands, one foot in the north and one in the south. So technically I have been in North Korea.
For information only, I used the tour agency which ran out of the top floor of the LOTTE Hotel in Seoul. My trip was back in 2014.
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