I finally was able to go check out the DMZ. The DMZ is a strip of land that marks the 38th parallel between North Korea and South Korea. We crossed to the military zone, where we were taken to a few places. When we first crossed over, you can see fields of what seems to be like crops. Our tour guide said that there is actually a village that lives in this military zone. He said that the soil in this area is really good, so they grow some really good ginseng.
Our first stop was The Third Tunnel. This tunnel was dug by the North Koreans. It was dug from North Korea to South Korea. South Korea found out when one of the North Korean men escaped to South Korea and told them. The North Koreans were using dynamites to create the tunnel. South Korea didn’t know where they were coming from, so they had to put some water tubes underground. If these water tubes were to vibrate from the dynamite, water would squirt up to the atmosphere. One day that happened, and the North Korean men saw water running down, and they knew that they were found out. So when they got to their side, they caved the tunnel in. South Korea took this situation to the United Nations and North Korea blamed South Korea saying it was them digging the tunnel. However, South Korea claimed that it was North Korea, because it was slanting up towards them. Later North Korea claimed that they were looking for coal and accidently went to South Korea’s land. They even sprayed the walls in the tunnel with coal to make it look like they were looking for coal. After being told this story, we were able to go into this tunnel that the North Korean’s dug. We only got to go so far, and where we stood, we were only 170 meters away from North Korea.
We went to another section where we were able to look out to North Korea. Our tour guide told us that when we don’t see any more trees, that’s where North Korea starts. He said that North Korea had to cut down their trees, because they were using it for their resource. We weren’t able to take pictures from a certain line. Also when you look out, you can see two flags. One was North Korea’s flag and one was South Korea’s flag. Our tour guide said that North Korea and South Korea used to have a competition to have their flag the highest, but South Korea gave up.
In South Korea, they have a policy where all the men in Korea have to serve up to two years of service. Our tour guide told us that for North Korea, after the men graduate middle school, they have to serve in the military up to 10 years! Only those who come from a better background don’t have to serve or serve that long.
There are a lot of other cool places at the DMZ that I would have love to go see, but our tour was only able to take us to a few spots. There are so many things to learn at the DMZ and it’s so interesting to know!