My visit to the DMZ, world’s most fortified zone
The border between North and South Korea, commonly known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), is one of the strangest places on earth. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers are lined up on each side of the border staring at each other all the time.
Any rash decision made in either of the makeshift military camps here and the world could be sucked into another world war.
South Korea and North Korea have technically been at war for 70 years now and the two are divided by the four-kilometer-wide DMZ
The DMZ is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula and was established at the end of the Korean War in 1953 to serve as a buffer zone between the North and South Korea. Korea is the only divided country in the world.
DMZ is a border barrier that cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half. It was created as part of the Korean Armistice Agreement between North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and the United Nations Command after the end of the war.
During my stay in South Korea, we usually joked about visiting DMZ with one of my coworkers at the time but we never did anything serious. She had been there once and she told me if I ever wanted to go to just let her know so that she can book the tour for me.
It takes months to arrange a tour, your credentials have to be checked before the government approves your visit. I remember her telling me it was one the most memorable trips I’ll ever take.
I remember thinking that she must have been absolutely crazy and there was no way I would put my life in danger just to see North Korea. I mean, who knows when some tourist would be crazy enough to run out across enemy lines and guns would be fired?
One day while out with some friends I was given the invitation by my friend Tony to go visit the DMZ. I couldn’t turn it down.
It was truly one of the most fascinating, strange, and scariest places I have ever been. My friend Tony asked our tour guide (a US Army Lieutenant) why tours were allowed to such a top secret, heavily armed, delicate area.
The answer was basically, “I don’t know.”
It did seem rather strange that such a place would allow visitors.
We were strictly warned not to take pictures unless permitted by the guide. Why? Due to modern technology, the North Koreans could get hold of our pictures on the internet and use it for infiltration plans.
As we were shown where minefields were, tank barriers, lookout points, tunnels and many more, I completely understood the reasoning behind the photo ban.
To tell you the truth my coworker MJ Kim was right, it was a once in a lifetime experience, and I would highly suggest the tour if you ever visit South Korea.