DAY 1 - DMZ TOUR (Demilitarized Zone)
DMZ TOUR (Demilitarized Zone)
The Korean War created a military demarcation line that separates the South and the North, which is 248 kilometers from Paju to Goseong. In addition, the South and the North drew another line, 2km apart from each other based on the military demarcation line to prevent clashes in case of an emergency. This is the southern limit line and the northern limit line. In addition, the area was called the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) because it stipulated that no military facilities would be installed between the southern and northern limits. As a result, the Korean Peninsula has created a demilitarized zone (DMZ) of about 300 million square meters.
Imjingak Park : Imjingak, located about 56km northwest of Seoul City Hall and 7km south of the Military Demarcation Line, is Korea's representative peace tourist destination where the tragedy of the Korean War remains. It is a place where you can learn the importance of peace by looking at the painful traces of war. Various war relics are scattered, and Pyeonghwa Nuri Park is well known as a tourist attraction as it has an exhibition hall as well as a 100,000 square meter lawn.
Imjingak area was also a disastrous battlefield during the Korean War. There is the Imjin River Railway Bridge, which was blown up in the early days of the war and remains until now, and the Freedom Bridge, where the Korean and U.N. forces, who were prisoners of the communist army, crossed in search of freedom.
Imjingak Pavilion was built for North Korean displaced people and was designated as Imjingak Tourist Site. Currently, new facilities such as Pyeonghwa Nuri, Imjingak Pyeonghwa Gondola, the Korean War Abductor Memorial Hall, and children's amusement facilities have been built, making it a large-scale tourist destination of 4,600,000 square meters.
Freedom Bridge : It is a bridge located behind Mangbaedan in front of Imjingak Square, and was named ``The Bridge of Freedom'' because 12,773 Korean War prisoners crossed it and returned in 1953.
Originally, the Gyeongui Line railroad bridge had two bridges up and down, but only the pillars of the bridge remained due to the bombing, but the bridge was restored on the pillar of the western bridge to pass the prisoners of war and this temporary bridge was installed at the southern end. At that time, it is said that prisoners came to the Gyeongui Line Railway Bridge by car and crossed this bridge on foot.
The Freedom Bridge is 83m long, 4.5m wide, and 8m high. The bridge was made by weaving wood, and in particular, steel was mixed and used for the part that received a lot of strength. Since it is a temporary bridge, it has no architectural excellence, but it can be said to be a representative legacy of the Korean War in that it contains the symbolic meaning of ``Return to Freedom.''
The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel : The third tunnel was discovered in the Demilitarized Zone on October 17, 1978, based on intelligence from the North Korean defector's tunnel construction. In North Korea, which is estimated to be 1.2km west of the Military Demarcation Line, an underground average of 73m is excavated and descends south for about 16km. The 2m wide and 2m high arched structure was only 52km away from Seoul, allowing 30,000 troops to move per hour, which is similar in size to other tunnels, but is considered much more threatening to penetrate Seoul.
The total length of the tunnel is 1,635m, but only 265m is open for tourist safety, and three concrete barriers are installed in the direction of North Korea to completely block intrusion from North Korea. In the third tunnel, facilities such as a DMZ video hall, an exhibition hall, symbolic sculptures, and a souvenir shop are installed to provide various attractions to tourists. In addition, if you use a monorail that can accommodate 45 people, you can enter the tunnel in 15 minutes.
Dora Observatory : Situated in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do and at the northernmost point of the Military Demarcation Line, Dora Observatory replaced the previous Songaksan Observation Post. From the observatory, visitors can overlook North Korea, including Gaeseong, Songaksan, Kim Il-Sung Statue, and Cooperation Farm (Geumamgol). The observatory has 500 spectator seats, a VIP room, and a large parking area. It was first opened to the public in January 1987.
Near the observatory is The 3rd Tunnel, an infiltration tunnel built by North Korea and found in 1978. It stretches over 1.6 kilometers with a height and width of 2 meters, capable of mobilizing 30,000 troops in one hour. In front of the tunnel are a variety of attractions such as the DMZ Media Hall (offering the history of the divided country and flourishing ecosystem in the Demilitarized Zone), DMZ Exhibition Hall (displaying relics and documents related to the Demilitarized Zone), sculptures, and souvenir shops. Visitors can see inside the tunnel by either walking or riding the monorail.
Because civilian access is restricted in this area, visitors must participate in the DMZ Peace & Security Tour Program to visit the observatory.
Dorasan Station: Dorasan Station is one of the northernmost railway stations on the Gyeongui Line, connecting Seoul to Sinuiju. The station was visited by previous Korean President Kim Daejung and previous American President George W. Bush. The station has become a symbol of effort for a unified Korea.