In Naruko there is a "scenic 100m-deep gorge", and we walked the 4km trail along the river, going and returning, so total of about 8km.
here are some photos:
as usual more photos on my flickr site, click here for more photos from Naruko.
The station has never been used. The day before it was supposed to officially open, north korea cancelled and called the whole thing off. So this brand new station just sits there empty and unused. Here is where we got our passport stamped, basically stating we were in the DMZ area. Pretty cool.
The next part was the best part of the tour. We went to the JSA (Joint Security Area) – the actual border line between north and south korea. Before we went on this part of the tour, we had a briefing by the U.S. military and basically had to “sign our life away”, saying if anything happened to us while at the border they would protect us, but no guarantee. quite intense. It’s hard to explain what the border was like…you just have to see the photos.
The photo below is the slab of concrete the marks the border. The north side having dirt/sand, and the south side having gravel.
This next photo is the room where north korea and south korea meet for talks, sitting at the table that’s right on the border, with UN people on the ends of the table. So in this room when we walked on the other side of the table, we were in north korea.
The military guys you see in these photos are the ROCK Military. They stand in a taekwondo stance and wear dark sunglasses to intimidate the north koreans. If we had tried to get in their way, they would have physically stopped us. in the picture below, behind him is the door to north korea.
In the photo below, the ROCK Military look across to the North Korea side. That building in the back is North Korea, with their own military soldier. In the window down to the left of this solider is someone looking at us with binoculars. The entire time we were in the building both sides have mics and were listening to us. And while outside both sides are always monitoring us.
You can just feel the tension at the border.
In this next photo the white stakes mark the border and there are landmines scattered about.
The next photos.. ok so when the DMZ was made, there was village that fell in the zone. They were given the choice to leave or to live there. Today about 220 people live in this South Korea village in the DMZ area. The military protects them 24/7. They have to be in their homes when it gets dark and at 11pm or 12am they have to have all their doors and windows locked and shut. Their housing is subsidized and are given much more land to farm then other Koreans. They live very comfortably and make about $80,000 a year. They have to live in the village 8 months out of the year. The men are required to marry someone outside of the village.
This South Korean village in the South Korean side of the DMZ had a flag, and then a company donated a bigger and nicer flag to them. So what did North Korea do? They put up a flag that was much bigger and much higher up then the South Korea Flag. That’s what you see in this next photo.
The flag is one of the biggest flags in the world, and one of highest flag towers. It’s about 60 meters and dry weight is about 600 pounds. It takes 50 men to lower the flag which they have to do in bad weather otherwise it will rip under it’s own weight.
The “town” you see around the flag is not a real town. It’s called “propaganda town” which the North Koreans made just for show. They have lights that go on when it gets dark and all go off at the same time. Occassionally, maybe when someone important is coming to vist, they will send people to go live in the town for about 2 days. Also sometimes you will see people there who are just maintaining and upkeeping the village, but not living there.
the bridge of no return