Sites in, around, and associated with the DMZ

For the non-history buffs, the Demilitarized Zone--or DMZ--is a 4-kilometer wide zone surrounding the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that marks the border between North and South Korea.  The MDL represents the front line as of the moment of the armistice halting the fighting back in 1953.  With the exception of one village on either side, no one is allowed in the DMZ except for the soldiers who work in the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjeom.

The Bell of Peace at Imjingang, erected in the hope of national reconciliation, the unification of Korea, and peace for all mankind.  The bell, made from bronze and tin in the traditional Korean style, is over 12' tall, about 7' in diameter, and weighs 21 tons.

Part of the Peace Wall, made with 86 stones from 64 battlefields around the world

The Freedom Bridge, so named because 12,773 Korean prisoners of war returned to South Korea across it in 1953.

A steam locomotive destroyed by the UN forces to prevent its use by North Korea

Two of South Korea's ever-diligent guards outside the entrance to...
...the Third Tunnel, one of several dug by North Korea to infiltrate the South.  (Tunnels are named for the order in which they were discovered.)  Unfortunately, you can't take pictures inside the tunnel; however, it's a long hole in the rocks, so there's not much to see anyway.

I have no idea what these represent, but I like them anyway!

The exterior wall of a garden near the tunnel entrance
View from the viewing platform at the Dora Observatory; all the civilization is in North Korea.  (Sorry about the obstructions, but you can't take pictures any closer than about 20' from the railing.)  It's hard to see, but in the circle is a huge North Korean flag.  The flagpole is about 500 feet tall, and the flag is 100 feet long, specifically built to be taller and bigger than a similar flag in South Korea.

Part of the JSA at Panmunjeom.  On the left is the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) building, where the two sides will meet when required.  The cement slab in the middle between the two buildings marks the MDL dividing the two Koreas.

Inside the MAC building.  The microphones and flag are perfectly aligned on the MDL, meaning everything on the right in this picture is technically in North Korea.

This picture is unremarkable except for where it was taken.  (If you don't get it, re-read the previous caption.)


Shortly before leaving Korea, I took the train back up to Imjingang to get another look at some things I didn't have time to see on the tour.

The Memorial Tower for Korean Diplomats Martyred in the Aung San Cemetary in Burma, during an assassination attempt on South Korea's president

Korean War Monument to the Battles Along the Imjingang, erected in memory of the many Korean and UN soldiers who died on this battlefield

Korean War Monument to the US Forces, erected in October 1975.  It consists of a stele surrounded by 4 triangles symbolizing the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.  The connection of the four triangles represents unity, and the flagpoles symbolize the 50 US states.  The monument symbolizes the desire of the Korean people that the American soldiers who died in battle will rest in peace.

Mangbaedan, a permanent altar to honor ancestors and parents left behind in the North after the partition of the peninsula.  The pagoda at the center represents the earnest longing for reunification and prayers for the welfare of those in the North.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial, honoring the proud history of the preservation of the free democratic values of the Republic of Korea

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Last updated 5 November 2013