We took a guided bus tour to the DMZ yesterday.
There is a lot to be said for visiting landmarks that stand as constant reminders of painful history. Korea is a proud place, both the North and the South, in their own ways, and the DMZ is a harsh reminder of the differences in that pride.
In the South, there is an odd aura of hope surrounding the DMZ and the surrounding area. They seem to stand, waiting, with their breath held for the hopeful future of reunification. It is obvious in way that the DMZ has become an exciting tourist attraction, complete with a small theme park (with rides) at Imjimgak Place. The surrounding attractions have been conspicuously brightened, as if to put the fear and pain behind them. It was extremely odd to stand in a place where my grandfather once stood, in entirely different circumstances, and see it regarded as a place of hope. (more…)