Korea DMZ tour
18.02.2008 3 °C
Korea is the only divided country in the world. After the Korean War (June 25, 1950), South Korea and North Korea negotiated and then designated the DMZ(demilitarized Zone) 2km away from the truce line on each side of the border.
Today We went to the DMZ tour including Panmunjeom, Imjinkak, Tongil Unification Observatory and the Third Tunnel.
First we went to see Panmunjeom which is located in the Joint Security Area which is in the demilitarized zone, 50km north from Seoul and 10km east from the city of Gaeseong(1). This plae is most well-known for the peace talks that were held here on October 25, 1951 and was designated as the Joint Security Area on July 27 1953 when the armisitice agreement was signed(2). It is the only place where North Koreans and South Koreans can come in contract on a daliy basis and make efforts towards the peace of Korea(3). This place does not allow individual tours.
Then we visited Imjinkak, located 7km form the Military Demarcation Line, is now at the forefront of tourism related to the Korean Conflict. It was bulit in 1972 with the hope that someday unification would be possible. The 400 kinds of photos and documents showing the stark reality of North Korea are displayed in the North Korea Center of Unification Board. Outside Imjinkak, there are 12 kind of tanks and crafts on display that were used during the Korean Conflict.
The Odusan Unification Observatoty opened to the public in 1992. It is one of the national tourist spot where foreigners like to visit and experience the stark reality of the divided Peninsula. This Observatory has five floors above ground and one underground. Various photos and computerized screens showing the reality of North Korea are displayed on first and second floor. You can purchase products from North Korea.
<Odusan Unification Observatory>
Finally, we went to see the 3rd Tunnel, discoverd on October 17, 1978. It is located 52km from Seoul. Approximately 10,000 soldiers can move through this tunnel in one hour. When this tunnel was discovered, North Koreans insisted steadfastly that it was made by South Koreans to invade North Korea, but this proved to be false.
<The Third Tunnel>
Tourists who want to tour Mt. Dora Observation platform and the 3rd tunnel, have to have a passport and make a reservation in advance at the DMZ ticket box located in the Imjingak parking lot. Tourists can tour the 3rd tunnel, Mt. Dora Observation platform, Mt. Dorasan and Unification Park by shuttle bus. Soldiers act as guides on this package tour. Only Korean speaking guides are available if you make your reservation here, so foreigners should contact a travel agency to arrange an English speaking guide in advance. Private cars and taxies are not permitted. Only designated shuttle buses can enter because it is located in the demilitarized zone.