Monday, July 25, 2005


Well, I finally made it to the DMZ. It was a pretty good trip. I'm really glad that I went. It wasn't one of the most amazing places that I've been, but it was definitely worth the two trips. The ability to take pictures was severely hampered though. In several places, because of "Nat. Security", we were not allowed to take photos and where we could take pics, we didn't have much time to look around. Someday, when N. Korea has rejoined S. Korea, people will be able to take as many pics as they want. But for now... If you ever come to S. Korea, I would recommend that it's one of the places you visit. What an important place in recent history.

The DMZ itself has become a wildlife reserve, a reserve with lots of land minds. The Northern army laid many minds all over the area. Humans, some times... Anyway, since no one has been able to exploit the area for it's resources, one can't even tell there used to be a war going on within it. (The same goes for the rest of S. Korea.)

So here is the scoop on the DMZ. As usual, the aggressor, N. Korea in this case, has continued in its paranoid and distrustful behavior. I can't believe the S. Korean Government is trying to trust the N. Korean Government. Several times, not just twice, the N.K. Gov. has tried tunneling under the DMZ. Their excuse when caught, "Oh, we were looking for natural resources like coal and oil." This is no exaggeration! They actually painted the rocks to look like coal after being caught engineering the 3rd tunnel, which is the one that tourist go into. They were most of the way across when the S. Korean Army caught them. The tunnel goes right through solid granite. The S.K.'s then dug an access tunnel down to where the N.K. Army had gotten to, and built a series of concrete walls effectively sealing off the tunnel from the N.K. Military. (I'm careful to always refer to the gov. or the military in this case, because as with any dictatorship, the people are trying to escape, literally. The N.K. people are probably really good people. Their gov. on the other hand...)

Now the tunnel is a big part of the DMZ tour. I have a few pics of the area. The entrance area of the tunnel of course is next to the DMZ which you get to go under. There is a drinking center in the tunnel using of course, the pure filtered water that continuously trickles through the solid granite. It's amazing as you walk around down there, how much water is drip drip dripping. Later, you go to an observation post overlooking the DMZ where pictures are well, NOT ALLOWED! Argggghhh!

Well, I hope you enjoy the pics. I know I did.

Me :-)

P.S. I just discovered that you can click on the pictures to get a larger view of them. Very cool. Maybe you have been able to do this all along, but I never knew it until now. Any who...


At 12:49 PM, Blogger Darren B said...

Thanks for the story and the photos (the one of the spider is excellent, btw).

I'm not sure I followed why the tunnel was built (through granite!) What did they hope to gain by going through that effort (surely not a tourist attraction!)

Glad your having a good time between teaching sessions!

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous me said...

Ah yes, why was the tunnel built? Well, one can only speculate as it was dug for "mining purposes". Yep...

N.K. is said to have several spies in S.K. as it is. Obviously, it was dug for military purposes and the size of the tunnel and the others that have been attempted, leads to the belief that it was for troop movements.

This tunnel was discovered in the early 1970's I believe and it wasn't the last. As far as I know, the N.K.'s have stopped tunneling.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Al Menezes said...

Pics are great. The caterpillars are rather gross, but maybe they would have tasted like fried.....caterpillars! Pass. I like odd foods, but even curry couldn't hide the fact that it's.....caterpillars! How diod they get so many anyway, and is it worth the time to sell it for so few a dollar?

I was reading about some guys in BC that dug a tunnel under the border recently. It went from a quanset hut (Canada) to a living room (USA). It must have taken months to dig. Anyway, the first run of drugs went under, and when they transported them to a van, they got busted. LOL. They observed them the whole time. They did all that work, and then they can't even get one deal....poor suckers.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous me said...

That's too funny. How frustrating that would be. You would think that a person with that kind of smarts and gumption would be able to make lots of money legally. Digging a tunnel, ssshhhhheeeeeesssshhh!

Apparently, the caterpillars are in cacoons (spelling?) when they are cooked. So all of the Koreans keep telling me that they aren't cats any more. Ya right! Tryin to dress it up doesn't help any. I think it's even more gross. They tell me that it tastes like sesimee (sp?) seeds which makes me wish a little more that I would have tride it. hmmmmm


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