Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stop...Drop...Shut Em Down Open Up Shop

You'd think a DMZ post would have appeared on this blog long ago, but Beth and I didn't make it until just a week ago. This was a long overdue tour. We went up early to Seoul to catch the all morning/afternoon tour, one day before our trip back to the States.

The DMZ is 1.5 hours from Seoul by bus. Once we arrived we were shown a brief history of the war between the North and the South, and escorted by US Military to the area where the North and South have talks. South Korean soldiers stand facing North Korea half exposed to be smaller targets. Their stance is a Tae Kwon Do stance, also known as ROK Hard.

Inside the blue buildings is where talks and conferences with dignitaries are held. The gray building behind the blue buildings is North Korea. Technically, I was standing in communist North Korea in this picture.

North Korea doesn't play fair. Their have been 5 tunnels discovered since 1990, tunnels the North has built to try and infiltrate the South. We were able to enter the 3rd tunnel. The North put charcoal dust on the walls of the tunnel so they could explain that the tunnel was a coal mine. The only problem is there's no coal. All of these tunnels have led directly to Seoul.

During the Bush presidency, the Korean president made a lot of headway in unification between the North and the South. The government built a train station that was to be a hub when the two countries unified again. They were shipping humanitarian food and supplies from this train station, and some South Koreans were allowed to tour the North via the train station until the North killed an old woman that was visiting. Now this train station isn't used, and is an eerie reminder of what could be but continues not to be.

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