Enter the Twilight Zone or Demilitarized Zone...Your Pick

Seoul Travel Blog

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The Friendship Building in Panmunjeom.

Going to the DMZ between North and South Korea was one of the strangest, surreal experiences I’ve had in recent memory.  All the posturing between the two countries is to a point that is almost hilarious.  A few cases in point.  First, the South Koreans built a friendship building where they hoped that arranged meetings between South and North Korean separated family members could happen.  Well somehow all that planning fell through and there’s simply a large empty facility there.  It’s all new…but ghostly.

 

However, this is not the funny part.  Apparently they put a large flag in the village and the North Koreans didn’t appreciate that.

This ROK soldier is putting on his "bad ass" face.
  Across the border you can see an entire town built over in North Korea.  Apparently it is just a façade that was created so that the South Koreans looking over there believe that the communists are industrious and prospering.  The town is simply a propaganda tool.  Anyway, Kim Jong-il decided that in this propaganda town that they would one up the South Koreans by building the world’s tallest flag pole and putting the world’s largest flag on it.  If I remember correctly, the flag is bigger than a football or soccer field, but we couldn’t really see it.  Why you ask?  Well because the thing is so bloody heavy that it only unfurls if the winds hit like 30+ mph!  LOL!

 

Then you have the border itself.  The South Koreans revamped their building at the border and the roofline ended up higher than the North Koreans.

Anime MPs…LOL!
  Well the North Koreans promptly built an addition on the top of their building so that they would be higher.  Funny.  Anyway, standing at the border was pretty odd.  There are North Koreans you can see that are trying to act all “bad ass” and scoping you out with binoculars.  The South Koreans are a bit funny too, however.  They all wear their shades no matter the light level so they can look bad ass too and they have steel ball bearings in their pant legs so that when they’re marching they sound loud and intimidating.  Wow.

 

After viewing all this, we headed back to their friendship area where they’d discovered one of North Korea’s tunnels into South Korea.  One of the funniest things I noticed there was the cartoon military police figures.  Well I found them funny anyway! ; p

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The Friendship Building in Panmunj…
The Friendship Building in Panmun…
This ROK soldier is putting on his…
This ROK soldier is putting on hi…
Anime MPs…LOL!
Anime MPs…LOL!
The Bridge of No Return near the D…
The Bridge of No Return near the …
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photo by: chiyeh