03 September 2008

North Korea

Time for the trip's major excursion to the D... M... Z...! Yep, the Demilitarised Zone, which happens to be the most heavily armed area in the world. Since Anais Thima was with us we were not perimted to visit Panmunjeom where the ceasfire agreement was signed and where you can get up really close to North Korean Soldiers. Instead we went on the half-day trip to something called the 3rd infiltration tunnel and a South Korean observation post. Here's the story:

Peaceloving clouds at the entrance to (the tunnel leading to) the 3rd infiltration tunnel, which was one of several tunnels secretly dug by North Koreans in order to launch a surprise invasion of the South. More hilarious facts here. The toour guide noted that Anais was very patient and brave. She wasn't scared of going down in the cold, humid, narrow tunnel (2 m x 2 m). No pictures were allowed in the tunnel so this is all we have.

"Everybody look at worker's wonderland", i.e. North Korea! This is the South Korean observation post where one can get a glimpse of the enigmatic North. The view features a whole bunch of military guard posts, a very long barbed wire fence, the world's largest flagpole, and some North Korean towns. The catch is that you're not allowed to take any pictures in front of a thick yellow line drawn on the ground. So this is as close as one can get with a camera.

Here we're at the railway-station inside the DMZ. This is planned to be the neutralisation point for travelers between Pyongyang and Seoul. So far it's just a grand building!

At the parking lot just outside the DMZ, waiting for our small van to pick up the half-day tourers and take us back to Seoul. Anais is wearing her sun-hat.

In the bus going back to town Anais and Mummy talk about all that they've seen.

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