Seoul and Co. Part 2

After a few days on Jeju we flew back to Seoul. Many people recommended us to visit north Korea. The border is quite safe(even if I was a bit sceptical at first), but in order to visit it you must book a tour with an allowed tourism agency.

We wanted to do the tour with the american army but it was fully booked so we found another one.

Our tour guide, a very funny and a bit crazy lady, explained us about the history between North and South Korea. First we visited the war museum, where you can watch video’s, pictures and displays of the tragic event. Outside you can see all the names of the soldiers who died in the war and the killing machinery.

I recommend you to read about this war on Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War . I don’t have enough time and it’s quite complicated to explain what happened in a short constructed mater, but it is very interesting nonetheless.
I wished we could go to North Korea so we could hear another “version” or propaganda of what happened. Always good to know two sides of the story.

After the museum, we hit the road until the border, officially called the “Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ is the buffer zone between North and South Korea, running across the peninsula roughly following the 38th parallel. It was created by agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953. The DMZ is 250 kilometres (160 miles) long, and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide.
Within the DMZ is a meeting-point between the two nations in the small Joint Security Area (JSA) near the western end of the zone, where negotiations take place.

Both North and South Korea maintain peace villages in sight of each other’s side of the DMZ. In the South, Daeseong-dong is administered under the terms of the DMZ. Villagers are classed as Republic of Korea citizens, but are exempt from paying tax and other civic requirements such as military service, if you a woman you can marry a man there and receive those privileges. In the North, Kijŏng-dong features a number of brightly painted, poured-concrete multi-story buildings and apartments with electric lighting. These features represented an unheard of level of luxury for rural Koreans, north or south, in the 1950s. However, based on scrutiny with modern telescopic lenses, it has been claimed the buildings are mere concrete shells lacking window glass or even interior rooms, with the building lights turned on and off at set times and the empty sidewalks swept by a skeleton crew of caretakers in an effort to preserve the illusion caretakers in an effort to preserve the illusion of activity. Source: Wikipedia.

During the 80’s, South Korean government built a 98,4 m flagpole with the South Korean flag weighing 130 kg. In a quite childish way to respond to that (like who can pee further) the North Korean government builded a bigger flagpole of …. 160 m with a flag of 270 kg.

image
War museum garden
image
North Korea on the other side
image
In front you can see south K. military, the building in the back ground is north K. The blue houses are made so the two parties can discuss.
image
In the blue house. Araldo standing on the north side. The south and north being separated by the middle of the table.
image
You can see a north korean guard. We weren't aloud to wave or speak to them.
image
The bridge of no return.
image
Time for dinner after a long day

image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s