Tag Archives: North Korea

DMZ adventure photos…

If you missed it, I wrote yesterday about my recent trip up to the South Korean side of the DMZ and my stop back at Seoraksan National Park. If you missed the post, I encourage you to go back and read it.

Due to some uploading difficulties, I wasn’t able to include a photo gallery with the post, but I’m doing it today!

My pics certainly don’t do the place(s) justice; it was truly an incredible experience.

Enjoy!

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I saw North Korea… no, really…

I went to the DMZ last weekend with a tour group and it was pretty amazing. If you don’t know what the DMZ is, allow me to explain: DMZ stands for the “Demilitarized Zone.” This is the literal, heavily-guarded line between North and South Korea. And I saw it.

The weekend trip was awesome and overall, totally surreal.

We first went to an area along the border that had previously been closed to the public until 2006, called Dutayeon (두타연) Falls. If you plan to go, you have to actually apply with a tourism office no less than 3 days in advance. They’re that serious about patrolling there.

They’ve cleared the area (mostly) and have made some walking paths through a beautiful section in this range of mountains. To keep track of visitors, though, they make everyone wear a GPS tracker around their neck. North Korea is so nearby that they want to keep close tabs on everyone. Crazy, isn’t it!? So, I wore a GPS tracker.

Dutayeon Falls, Korea

Dutayeon Falls, Korea

Also, there are still live land mines throughout the area. They’ve cleared most of them, but there is barbed wire along all the paths with little warning signs that simply say “Mine.” You DON’T wander from the path unless you have a death wish. Seriously. There are mines out there! It was crazy to fathom.

At one point, I got pretty pissed because this older guy totally ignored the “Mine” sign and just made his own little path down a steep hill. Now, it’s not likely that there were mines in there, especially being that close to the actual path… But seriously. Buddy. DON’T ENDANGER EVERYONE AROUND YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE IMPATIENT. Good gods. We could have all died.

Dutayeon Falls, Korea

Dutayeon Falls, Korea

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North vs. South… What we’re really doing in the ROK

SK vs. NK... What we're really doing in the ROK

Photo courtesy of “Mike Stewart” on FaceBook.

 

I’ve had a number of concerned friends and citizens ask me, “So, what is everyone doing over there with all this ‘hubbub’ from North Korea?” Or, my other favorite: people I NEVER HEAR FROM are coming out of the woodwork to remind me to “be careful,” as if the next time I turn a street corner while wearing my headphones and listening to my “jams” (which ALL South Koreans do, by the way), some North Korean psychopath is going to jump out and slap me across the face with a “nuclear” weapon.

Now, I don’t say “nuclear” lightly. I’ve read the news, too. I know that the North Koreans have some weaponry up there that could cause some serious damage. I also know, thanks to the news, that there’s no way that what they have is advanced enough to reach American shores. Now, is it advanced enough to reach Seoul or my beloved Daegu? You betcha.

So let me get back to the point of where I began. Continue reading

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