Exploring the Border between the Koreas

Today the Korea group went to the DMZ or demilitarized zone. The DMZ is probably one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been. There’s a tension in the air and a general caution about everything. However, the South Korea side is bustling with tourists. It’s an odd juxtaposition. The first place we went was the Dorasan station which is meant to be the last station in South Korea and eventually will connect the two countries in a transiberian railway. The next stop is Pyeongyang which is the capitol of North Korea but there isn’t actually a train that goes there just yet. The next place was the Dora observatory where you can look over into North Korea. You can actually see the North and South Korean flags oppose each other and on especially clear days you can see the statue of Kim Il Sung. After that we explored the Third Tunnel. This tunnel connects the North and South and was built by the North to conduct a surprise attack on Seoul. There are four discovered tunnels and who knows how many more out there. Next, there’s an town nearby called Imjinjak where the most tourists are able to go. This is the most confusing place in the entire DMZ area. It has an area for Separated families to pay respects to their elders and then a few hundred meters away is an amusement park. While we were there, school trips of children were riding the rides and having fun and I couldn’t help but marvel at how they could be so carefree at such a sad site.

The site of the Third Tunnel

After the DMZ, we all went on the Han river. This river divides the north and south parts of Seoul and it is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve never seen a river in the middle of the city looking so clean. You could see the entire city from the river. There was a large park lining the river and a lot of people were just relaxing there and having a nice picnic. This would definitely be somewhere I’d like to go in the future just to relax.

The Han River

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