Tag Archives: Reunification

A Trip to Imjingak

Quick Intro + Reason for Visit

My name is Elton Chun from Hawaii. I am currently an intern at VANK during the academic year of 2016-2017. As an intern at VANK, you get to travel to many places and experience the Korean culture, especially through food. Unluckily, during my year and because of my occupied schedule, I was not able to travel that much. However, because of this inconvenience VANK gave me a full day to travel together to a place of my choice. As a future Air force officer with hopes of working on US-SK relations, I decided on visiting the Imjingak. Here is my experience:

The Arrival

We decided to meet at Munsan Station, which is the closest station to Imjingak. It took a 2 hour subway ride from where I live and an additional cab ride from Munsan Station to the DMZ. Once we arrived we ate at a Korean traditional restaurant while waiting for our scheduled bus tour ride. During this bus ride, we would stop by many places, 5-10 minute ride between each stop.

A Look at a North Korean Region through Binoculars

The first stop was the “Dorasan Observatory”; a lookout post where we were able to look at the North Korean region of Kaesong. Although far, it was really interesting to see a North Korean region in person. Using the binoculars, we were able to see one of the tallest flagpoles from North Korea and almost a couple miles away from it, the South Korean flagpole.

The Tunnel

The next stop, we visited the “Third Tunnel of Aggression” where North Koreans dug up a tunnel underground to infiltrate South Koreans but eventually failed. Going all the way down and through a 2×2 meter tunnel was very painful on my back and going back up was a workout but I wouldn’t say it was worth the trip inside the tunnel. If you are there just to experience being in a long tunnel made by North Koreans then I would give it a visit. If you are there to see artifacts or interesting things, there are none so I wouldn’t recommend giving the tunnel a visit. Taking pictures inside the tunnel was not allowed but I took pictures at the area near the tunnel.

Train Station to Pyongyang

The last stop, we arrived at Dorasan Station which is currently not in use because of current SK-NK relations. People used to travel through this station to Kaesong Industrial Region for work and to transfer materials. The only reason this train is still effective is for the tourists who want to visit the Joint Security Area. This place was very interesting because I have never wondered that people would travel through the borders using train stations.

Gifts and Souvenirs + Last Thoughts

During all the stops, I had the chance to visit some souvenir shops where I had the chance to buy some North Korean alcohol. Also, the Vank staff members presented me with a commemoration gift which I am very thankful for.

Visiting the most guarded border in the world, I felt a sense of seriousness and inconvenience. The 2 countries speak the same language and have the same history but are separated because of the war. The animosity between the two Koreas is very sad to bear and I hope the relations between the two countries can come to a better end, ultimately reunification.

From this trip, I was able to learn and experience a lot about the effects of the Korean War and the current situation between SK and NK. Although it was a sad and intense atmosphere, I had a great time experiencing this. I want to thank the VANK staff for this experience and for taking the whole day off of their work to go to the place of my choice. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience.

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Unified Korea World Map (통일한국 세계지도)

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The possibilities of a reunified Korea are endless. Not only will there be peace within east Asia, economic development between countries will also proper. The once isolated Korea will have opportunities to create trade with nearby regions and also develop their industrialization. Also, instead of using its military to protect and fight itself, a reunified Korea will be able to distribute their military power towards peace in other countries with disputes still going on. These endless possibilities show that reunification is a feasible option for Korea because of the numerous benefits that Korea could gain through reunification. These possibilities are shown on the map like a feasible railroad that could connect Korea, China, Russia, and even Europe.

However, change will not happen without any effort or determination. We must do our best to overcome this division and achieve our dream of positive change and prosperity for Korea and the world.

Help us in the effort of reunifying Korea and accomplishing this dream!

Download this map here: http://data.prkorea.com/?p=4853