Exploring the Demilitarised Zone for the border of North and South Korea: Touring the DMZ

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Korean DMZ: an unusual holiday destination

The Korean demilitarised zone is really an eerie tourist attraction, as Kelsey Munro discovers.

A South Korean soldier boards our bus to measure our passports and dress code (no ripped jeans, sandals or clothing displaying provocative text) before we board a military bus at Camp Bonifas, the army base outside the DMZ, a heavily fortified, 240-kilometre-long buffer zone each side of the border. Our guide, Seon Mee, advises us to leave out any bags around the bus. “Cameras and phones ought to be carried up to you,” she says.

Because of your snow, a decision is made?to postpone our briefing on behavioural protocol from the Joint Security Area (JSA) until after we’ve undergone a double barbed-wire fence and entered Freedom House, a Soviet-style concrete “palace” overlooking the border. That it was here ?that the two sides traded shots following defection on the Russian asylum seeker 26 years ago. And since recently as November 13, 2017, a North Korean soldier created bold dash throughout the MDL within a hail of gunfire.

Considering this border region’s chequered history, it surprises no-one when we’re required to sign waiver forms contrary to the “possibility of injury or death to be a direct outcome of enemy action”. I am also under strict instructions to never point at anyone, at one stage I kneel in one knee to adopt a picture whereupon I’m promptly ordered to stand up again, lest it be possible considered inflammatory. To convey until this place is jittery is definitely.

A total of 24 buildings, also known as Truce Village, are scattered around within the JSA, where South Korea’s Freedom House mirrors a North Korean equivalent, Panmun Hall. Involving are a couple of white barracks, which flank three buildings painted inside powder blue hue of the Not. Collectively, these are generally known as Conference Row, since this is where officials from all parties meet to go about diplomatic issues below the control in the UN. Office desks are scattered around a location that’s otherwise remarkable due to its austerity, while using MDL that roughly follows the 38th Parallel cutting in the middle ones.

This perhaps the JSA

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