DMZ & Panmunjom

A few weeks ago I woke up at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning. The reason? Go check out the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone) between North and South Korea. It happens to be “the most heavily militarized border in the world.” (Korean Demilitarized Zone Info)

My parents were in town, and we booked a tour with the US Military USO.

South Korea in the foreground, North Korea in the background.

South Korea in the foreground, North Korea in the background

I typically loathe tours, but this is the only way to get to the JSA (Joint Security Area). A few weeks back I tried to make it there with a friend, and we were taken off a bus by the military.

They are pretty tight on photography at the DMZ, but here are a few shots I managed to get.

South Korean soldier

South Korean soldier

The above soldier is a guard in one of the buildings in the JSA that lies directly on the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Half of the building is technically in South Korea, the other half in North Korea.

Expensive rice fields, Korean flag.

Rice field, South Korean flag

Rice grown in close proximity to the DMZ is sold for a much higher price than other rice in Korea. Supposedly the air is much purer there. CNN recently had an article about “the accidental paradise of the DMZ” where many plant and animal species are flourishing.

The South Korean flag in the above picture lies across the border from the North Korean propaganda village, which boasts the highest flag tower in the world. The flag itself weighs 270kg.

Here is a picture I took a couple of years ago, on a not-so-clear day.

Korea shots 228

North Korean Propaganda Village

Other pictures:

South Korean military vehicle

South Korean military vehicle, Christian cross in the background?

US soldier guide

US soldier guide

MP Armband

MP armband

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~ by nathanhendrix on November 5, 2009.

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