You are witness to history, and it puts the freedoms you take for granted into perspective
It is one of the scariest places on earth.
Important to see at least once.
These buildings are reached after leaving the Visitors Centre inside the DMZ. They were reputedly erected in 'a couple of days' to accommodate the talks, held on 27 July 1953.We got a look at the small building where the talks were held (a table, some chairs), before moving to the more interesting 'Peace Museum', a barn-like building with a group...more
The DPRK is very keen on on the 'Concrete Wall' story. We were accompanied by the jolliest military man we encountered on this trip. Not a stern faced fellow he. It is quite a long drive into scrubby hills, with many villages along the way. We weren't supposed to take photos from the bus windows, but of course, that did not stop us.We proceed up a...more
During the 1980's, the South Korean government built a 98.4 metre (328 ft) tall flagpole in Daeseong-dong, a village built within the DMZ. The North Korean government responded by building a taller one — the tallest in the world at 160 metres (525 ft) in Kijong-dong, the so-called Propaganda village that is said not to have any inhabitants.more
A week after visiting the DMZ on the north side, I came back again as part of South Korean tour and these are some views of the North Korean Peace Pavilion. The third photo is of the building from the other side i.e. the side you don't see if looking from South Korea.more
This photo was taken from the balcony of the Peace Pavilion which is located on the north side of the Joint Security Area. Before the building was built there was just a simple small Korea pavilion overlooking the area even though the large Peace Pavilion was on the north side.more
Some photo's of the North Korean guards standing outside the MAC (Military Armistice Commission) building at the JSA (Joint Security Area). You will notice a raised piece of concrete next to the guards. It measures 40cm wide and 7cm high and was placed here to show the MDL, (Military Demarcation Line), which separates South and North Korea. It was...more
In the middle of the JSA (Joint Security Area) are five small buildings known as conference row. The central building is known as the MAC (Military Armistice Commission) where talks between North and South Korea take place. The other buildings are for the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission and the United Nations Command. These buildings are set...more
After visiting the Armistice Talks Hall & Peace Museum, we got back on the bus and made our way further south towards the JSA (Joint Security Area). Our bus parked behind the North Korean Peace Pavilion that looks over the JSA. We were then lead around to the side of the building were their is a signature plaque with Kim Il Sung's signature on it...more
After visiting the visitors centre, we got back on our bus along with our lieutenant colonel from the KPA (Korean People's Army) and proceeded out of the compound through a narrow passage which was lined on both sides with anti-tank devices. We then stopped on the way to the DMZ at a small compound with a few buildings known as the Armistice Talks...more
Outside the Peace Museum is this plaque with an inscription of the North Korean version of the ceasefire. It reads:It was here on July 27, 1953 that theAmerican imperialists got down ontheir knees before the heroic Chosunpeople to sign the ceasefire for the warthey had provoked June 25, 1950.more
In the compound area where the DMZ visitors centre is located are these two murals. One displays a child from the north and a child from the south with something like Korea united together while the other shows a map of the Korean peninsula with something like "People, this is the way to a reunified homeland!" There is also a sign saying "Seoul...more
There is a small DMZ visitors centre in the compound where the Reunification Highway ends at and inside one of the buildings is this large scale model which shows the Panmunjom area for both sides of the border. This was where we were introduced to our DMZ guide who was a lieutenant colonel from the KPA (Korean People's Army). He described each...more
When you go to Panmunjom and the DMZ from Kaesong, you'll use the Reunification Highway again which just fizzles out into a small compound where the road just simply ends. Along the way you'll pass by a series of large concrete pillars which are about 20-30ft high on either side of the road. Each one is believed to contain dynamite at the base...more
This is the famous Reunification Highway that you may have seen photo's of on the net. It runs between Pyongyang and Panmunjom/DMZ and is a four lane stretch of road which, in any other country, would be at gridlock but traffic isn't a problem in North Korea. We only saw a few vehicles on it and even they have to have permission to use it first. We...more
DMZ tour is Different from Panmunjeon Tour (DMZ tour doesn't go to Panmunjeom) hence the price is lower in DMZ tours. (Hotel - Imjingak Park - The Bridge of Freedom - DMZ Theater & Exhibition Hall - The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel - Dora Observatory - Dora Station - Pass by Unification Village - Ginseng center (or Amethyst factory) - Hotel) and it...more
From the North, you'll be given the tour by an Major in the army. You'll be taken to the museum where you'll be given the North's version of events during the Korean war and the history of the DMZ in the fifty years since. The most disconcerting part is having the South Korean troops looking through their binoculars at you, no doubt taking notes.more
The "Peace Museum" is set back a little over 1km to the north of the JSA (Joint Security Area). This is the location that the Armistice was signed.The North Koreans will no doubt like to point out some of the one-sided facts from their propaganda pages.One such thing is that after the Americans had signed the treaty, they were in such a rush that...more
The tour you will most likely get is conducted by the UN Forces Korea. A truely brave group of guys. You will be brought in by bus and disembark at the back of Freedom House, the rather large building built to house family reunions for N and S Korean families. It has never been used for this purpose though, as the north will not allow its citizens...more
This oddly named building is only a museum to peace because the Armistace was signed in it. Otherwise it is a propoganda exhibit extolling the virtues of Juche Ideology, the ruling Kim family, and the glory of protecting a tree Kim il Sung planted (even though it was older than him) by axe murdering 2 US Army soldiers who were cutting it down. It...more
It's best not to step out of line or say anything that can undermine yourself or anyone else within your tour group as things are taken very seriously here and there's good reasons why as there's been many conflicts and shootings within this area between the two sides over the years. For me, it was another highlight of my time in North Korea. In fact I actually came back here one week later as part of a South Korean tour which was very different to the North Korean one. For example, on the South Korean tour we had to sign agreements so that the UN will take no responsibility in any actions that may arise whilst visiting. We didn't sign anything or were told nothing as part of our North Korean tour. We were told not to take any bags, point, run and to walk in single file as part of the South Korean tour. We could take bags and virtually 'fool' around on the North Korean tour. So, the differences are even there to be seen on the tours yet alone the places themselves.