11.08.2014 - 11.08.2014
We traveled north to the border with North Korea. It was unfortunately a overcast day so we were not able to see much into the reclusive country. The Demilitarized Zone is a 4km wide strip of territory that was created as part of the ceasefire in 1953 between the two Koreas. There are restricted villages from both Koreas on their respective sides. The North Korean one had no one living there til factories were built by the South on the North Korean side of the border. South Koreans living in their village receive $80,000 a year and are exempt from military service. However, their actions are severely limited and are under guard at all time.
Part of the tour included going into the restricted Joint Security Area (JSA), which is a United Nations HQ with South Korean and American forces. While the first part of the tour allows you to see the DMZ and the villages inside, this portion brings you to the border and into the conference room used by both sides. Technically we were 4 meters inside North Korea. While the JSA had several guards stationed, North Korea only had a lone sentinel.