The Korean De-Militarized Zone
On June 15-16, our group went to the Korean De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) for one night two days as a school called School of Peace and Unity. We first went to the grave and memorial park of Jun Ha Jang and paid our respects as well as learned about the deeds he did in order to take one of the first steps towards unity of South Korea and North Korea.
Following that, our group then went to the ‘Im-jin-gak’ that included the broken railway that leads to North Korea, Bridge of Freedom, and the statue of a Korean girl that represented freedom. All of these locations were located right on the border of the DMZ.
Afterwards, our group went through the National Guards to get approved to enter the DMZ. Here, we ate at the food court where Korean Soldiers take their breaks, eating military food.
We then made our way towards the ‘Do-ra-san’ Peace Park, the ‘Do-ra-san’ train station, and the ‘Do-ra-san’ Lookout. At the Peace Park, we saw that there were many symbols of freedom and all the visitors wrote a wish on a ribbon and tied it onto the fence. There were also multiple displays throughout the park, each one displaying another sign of peace and efforts of attaining unity. Our Next stop was the train station where we learned that it was the last stop in South Korea and that this train, once the two countries unify, can travel all the way up to the Capitol of North Korea. This was eyeopening for all of us because there was so much that could be done with the opening of this train track through unity but nothing was done so it was all blocked. Finally, we went to the lookout where we could see North Korean with our bare eyes. The sign for both sides is a very tall flagpole with a large flag hanging less than 5km away from the border. After we all saw this, we were very awed and it was a great way to learn about North Korea and the past of South Korea.
After touring around and learning many things, our group headed over to Camp Greaves, a US military base, where we slept and ate out food. There, we saw the watch-out towers, the ammunition storage facilities, and also the Korean base next to us.
Overall, it was a really amazing experience for us all and in this, we asa club will put in some of our efforts to help reach unity of the two Koreas.