Looking over the Demilitarised Zone into North Korea was surreal, fascinating, and a little scary – especially when I heard distant gunfire! – but more on that later.
The Demilitarised Zone is the zone between North and South Korea. Known as the DMZ – and pronounced the American way, “D M Zee” (if you say “D M Zed” you will get strange looks!). In the Korean War in the 1950s, an armistice was reached in 1953 where both sides agreed not to have any military in the 2km directly in front of the front-line, thereby creating a 4km gap between them. The front-line itself is called the Military Demarcation Line – we got confused over all the terminology! It is fair to say that although the 2km South Korean DMZ is demilitarised, the area just outside of that is heavily militarised. There are South Korean and US army bases there. Continue reading