This railroad station was built in 2003 after a 2000 agreement between the North and South to open rail service between the countries. The North reneged on the deal shortly after so no passenger trains actually go North yet. However, an ageement was just made to allow cargo trains to carry goods from here to a special industrial zone in the North.
This tunnel which is 1 of 5 so far discovered was found in 1978. It is believed that it was intended to circumvent the South Korean lines of defense in an attack. The North Koreans claim they were digging for coal and have actually painted the rocks black to back up their claim. The South Koreans believe that there may be 10-15 more tunnels they haven't found yet.
In this tour, you can go down into the tunnel but they will not allow you to take pictures there.
This observation point gives you a direct view into North Korea and overlooks Panmunjeom (the joint security area). For some reason, they only allow pictures to be taken standing 10 ft back from the actual wall of the observation point so you get a much better view in real life than these pics.
Dorasan Station is the northernmost station of South Korea only 700m away from the southern boundary line of DMZ, the civil control zone. Since US president Bush visited Dorasan Station on February 20, 2002, it has come into spotlight internationally. Imjingak Station was opened in October 2001, and then Dorasan Station, the unfinished station of the Korean reconciliation was opened on February 12, 2002 through the special Mangbae train operation and after 52 years a train passed through the DMZ. However this was also the last time - at the time when I was there no other train has gone North - and the sign Pyongyang is just a symbol of hope.
The 3rd Tunnel was discovered only 52 km away from Seoul. the tunnel has a lenght of 1635 m, is 2 m wide and 2 m tall. 30.000 fully armed North Korean soldiers could pass through this tunnel within one hour. This is the largest tunnel that has been discovered. Today visitors can enter this tunnel and walk underneath the DMZ todards North Korea - and allows you to get up to 200 m to the border - underground. However one is not allowed to take any pictures of the tunnel., hence the underground picture has been "googled".
From the Observatory one has a clear view into North Korea and the DMZ. One can also see the North Korean Propaganda Village and farmland in North Korea. Using the telescope one can also see the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and a bronze statue of Kim Il-Seoung. Oddly though when I watched the North I did not see any movement of either people or cars.
Close to the 3rd Tunnel one can find the DMZ Welcome Centre and a small museum that explains and shows all aspects of the DMZ, the Korean War and attempts to unify the country. Most of the items are explained in borth English and Korean - expect that the museum is very busy.
A bridge that does not connect - yet. This bridge is symbolic as it ends at the fence of the DMZ and allows Koreans to leave messages for family members that are in the North and therefore out of reach of any South Korean. A small sign next to the bridge states: "Opening Up - Breaking the 50 year barrier".
The Peace Park include various monuments such as the Peace Bell, the Peace Garden, the Imjingang River Battle Memorial and the American War Monument. It is a place where tourists feel the pain of the war and national division as well as the country's desires for unification. It also honours all countries that took part in the Korean War as 14 countries took part.
Tongilchon is situated in the northern are of the Civilian Control Line and is home to 133 families and a total of 493 residents. The agricultural center sells local farm produce. In a nutshell this is a city in the DMZ.
Imjingak, located 7 km from the Military Demarcation Line, was built in 1972, The park has many statues and monuments regarding the Korean War. The park was built to console those from North Korea who are unable to return to their hometowns, friends and families because of the division of Korea. Imjingak is where the "Freedom Bridge" lies. The Freedom bridge does not actually cross the Imjin river, but it is a bridge which was used by refugees from the north. It crosses a stream adjacent to the Imjin river. In front of Imjingak, there is the Gyeongui Train Line which was destroyed during the Korean Conflict in 1950. It has been under construction since 2000
The 1950-1953 Korean War came to an end with the division of the country along .. the 38th Parallel. To the north, with the backing of communist Chinese and Soviet troops, a Stalinist state was fully established; while in the south predominantly American forces with the backing of the United Nations supported the régime there. This division, which reflected ancient factions in Korean society, helped shape geopolitics for the remainder of the twentieth century. The border stretches from the west to the east coast of the Korean peninsula, is 4 km wide and is known as the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, (In the Middle is the Military Demarcation Line or MDL) something of a misnomer considering the huge number of military personnel (over two million troops) and matériel in position. This is the LAST front line of the Cold War.
Caveat: 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 costs 48,000 won. Panmunjeom tours go to JSA, Camp Bonifas, Bridge of Return and costs 70,000 won. Apopular option is to Combine both and the cost is about 125,000 won.
The Third Tunnel of Aggression was discovered in October of 1978. It is located 52km from Seoul. It is apparently designed for a surprise attack on Seoul from North Korea and can easily accommodate a full division per hour along with their weaponry. A total of four tunnels have been discovered so far, but there are believed to be up to ten moreApproximately 10,000 soldiers can move through this tunnel in one hour.
too bad that it was cloudy when we visited it so you can't see kaesong, ongjin peninsula at the horizon even with binoculars. those areas were originally part of south korea since they are below the 38th parallel but was captured by the north during the war. South korea captured land above the 38th parallel in the east part. (sockcho and mount sorak are above the 38th!) hence the 38th parallel ceased to be the dividing line, and the Military Demarcation Line is the de facto border nowadays!
Mt. Dora Observation Platform is located nearby the 3rd Tunnel. From this observation platform, North Korean military personnel are said to be visible, and so are the city of Gaeseong and the Propaganda Village but unfortunately, when we arrived here at mount Dora Observatory, it was cloudy hence I can barely see the North Korean Side!