Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Trip to the DMZ

Okay so I've been living in South Korea for two years and now that we have one year left we are trying to get everything off of our  list of "must do" in Korea. I've always known I needed to go to the DMZ however I haven't been jumping at the chance to go because the situation with North Korea is really tragic to me.  I feel like we are SO close yet so far away to helping anyone over there. I could get into all that however this post will be about today! Yes today! I know I've been slacking on the whole getting posts up about my personal life here but hey I've been busy and just living it up! I figure I can catch up on all my blogging when we move right??? Will you read my blog posts if it says "3 years ago when I lived in Korea... we went here!" (Not to mention my vacation in Thailand still needs to be finished when did we go? April 20...11) LOL I hope you do!
Today needed to be posted right away because I didn't want to forget the little details so I'm going forth and sharing today's journey with you right away. :)

As we sat in the bus driving out of Seoul you could see the buildings getting smaller and the traffic starting to thin out. The landscape became more lush and spread out. I knew we were getting closer to the DMZ when all the fences to the water were covered in copious amounts of barbed wire. Next we started seeing guards keeping their eyes open for any signs of suspicious activity.

As we walked toward the conference room we walked in a building that was constructed as a meeting place for North Koreans and South Koreans family to have a reunion. Sadly it's never been used because the North Koreans won't let anyone over.

You can actually stand in North Korea while in this room. While we were listening to our guide he directed our attention to the window (which I was standing RIGHT next to) and said "There are North Korean Guards looking in here please feel free to take their photos!" 

This is my friend below with a nervous smile, she let me snap a picture of her with the guard looking in. When I went to give her my camera to get one of me the guards had walked off.
(My husband said he's been on this tour a few times now and has never had the NK come peeking in the windows!)

 NK with his canon... he shot me and I shot him!

 Here is a view of NK with their flag and buildings...some of these houses have painted on windows and doors...

This memorial is for those who were attacked by North Korean guards in 1976. While supervising a work party, North Korean guards murdered two United Nations men with Axes. They were only trying to trim a Poplar Tree. After that they had to chop down the tree and leave a stone in it's place.

 The Bridge of No Return was used for prisoner exchange in the end of the Korean War. The prisoners had a choice to remain in whichever country they chose. Once they made that decision it was final and could never return.

Everywhere you go in Korea, you will always find some sort of "character."

SK has discovered four tunnels from NK. We got a chance to walk into the third tunnel deep down under ground while wearing protective head gear. When we went to go down we had to leave our cameras. I left my phone, purse, and camera in a locker as I approached NK... never thought I would be doing that in my life!  After walking all the way down you get to a hole in the wall that literally has a camera on the NK side pointing straight at you... I think they don't want you to take photos so that people will want to go down and take a look. I didn't see what all the hype was about...

One more view of NK

<3 V


Kathy Bishop said...

Very interesting, and informative, Vickie !!! Not many people get that opportunity !! I'm glad, you were able to go.

jiru said...

Wow what a great representation