If you grew up in the 70s and 80s like I did, you probably sat through the endless reruns of the television show MASH. That comedy show took place during the Korean War. Even though the show made light of the conflict at times, it still portrayed some of the hardships the war had on the civilians and the military. When I planned to visit Korea, I had planned to visit many of the places mentioned on the show such as Seoul and Panmunjom also known as the Joint Security Area or JSA. I discovered that nearly 70 years after this war ended this is a land still divided.
The Border between North and South Korea, A Land Still Divided
That Tuesday morning I had to get up early for this tour. I had originally wanted to go to the Militarized Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) between North and South Korea. I was disappointed to find out that the DMZ had been closed for the past three months and closed until further notice due to the swine flu. The tour bus had driven us to the check point to the DMZ where we could take a couple of quick photos.
We then proceeded to the Civilian Restricted Area.
Civilian Restricted Area
Odusan Unification Tower
The tour then went to Odusan Unification Tower. This place is where we could see North Korea from a distance. The tower was located where the Han and Imjin rivers meet. I managed to get some photos of the North Korean side.
War Memorial of Korea
We finished the day with a visit to the War Memorial of Korea. I was able to learn the history and see artifacts form the Korean War here. Also, there were displays of names of every soldier that had died in the conflict listed by their home country.
I hope that someday the residents of North and South Korea will be able to have a relationship. Since the start of the war families have been split apart without any communication. After all these years, it is a land still divided. Let’s hope that the powers on each side can work toward a unification for future generations.