Every Friday, the summer program that I’m enrolled in goes on trips. One of the trips we took was to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). We first went to the War Memorial Museum in 용산구 (yong-san-gu, a district in Seoul). It was an eye-opening experience. I honestly had no knowledge of the Korean War beforehand. I learned that the war is technically not over yet, it’s been in a cease-fire since 1953. I also learned that the DMZ is the area of land that is 2 km from the Korean border on each side. It’s an area that no one from either side is allowed into. I am glad that I was able to go on the trip and learn about the history that is still affecting both North and South Korea today.
War Memorial Museum:
This a bridge that was used to return prisoners of war to North Korea, the ribbons seen on the fences are ribbons with messages of hope for unification of North and South Korea.
The 3rd Tunnel:
After the war, there were a few tunnels made by North Korea that South Koreans discovered. Our group was able to visit the 3rd tunnel and walk through it, people are only able to go as far as the third blockade, which is 170 meters away from the border that divides Korea.
The Dora Observatory:
In the early 2000s, this railroad connected North and South Korea. This only lasted for a few years, but as the sign in the second picture below says, “Not the last station from the South, but the first station toward the North.”