DMZ Tour: Introduction
The DMZ is a buffer zone between the two Koreas, bisecting the Korean Peninsula
The DMZ has been the most popular tourist destination in Korea for foreigners since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The purpose of the zone is to prevent the recurrence of war between North & South Korea.
The zone stretches 2 km north and south respectively from the ceasefire line of 1953. The land stretches across the Korean Peninsula 155 miles from the mouth of Han River to the East Coast.
It’s one of the most well-preserved wild-life refuges where peace and tension coexist. The President of Korea, Park Geun-hye, is pushing to build a “peace park” in the DMZ as a new symbol of political reconciliation and ecological conservation.
The surrender of Japan in 1945 at the end of Pacific War saw the division of Korea along the 38th parallel, when the US and the Soviet Union moved into the Korean Peninsula. The line was intended to be a temporary political border, but the failure to hold free elections throughout the peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides.
North Korean tanks crossed the 38th parallel at dawn on June 25, 1950. The war lasted for three years and one month, costing more than two million people’s lives. The ceasefire agreement was signed at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. The armistice, not a peace treaty, is still in effect today.
Major Tour Destinations
In essence, any DMZ tour is meant to experience the reality of division and to find hope for the future. The highlight of the tour is to explore a tunnel dug by North Korea. The tunnel was discovered by the South Korean Army as the third one among four tunnels, hence the name “The Third Tunnel.” It is a surreal experience to find a 1,635 meter tunnel at a depth of 73 meters underground. The infiltration tunnel was made by dangerous manual excavation work with dynamite, shovels and pick axes. The tunnel is located only four kilometers away from the JSA, where the representatives of North Korea repeat their version of peace and reunification.
The other tourism spots include an observatory and a train station. The observatory sits on the top of a hill, from which you can observe the northern area including the “Gaesung Industrial Complex,” the “Propaganda Village,” a huge statue of North Korean Leader Kim Il-sung, etc. The train station is the northern most one of South Korea and it is physically connected to the North Korean railway system, which again is linked to the Trans Eurasian Railway Network. Regardless of the frustrating diplomacy surrounding the Korean Peninsula, here you can find the possibility of going to Europe by TRS (Trans-Siberian Railway).
What You Can Expect
The west side of DMZ lies only 52 kilometers far from Seoul in the north direction. However, there is no public transportation directly linked DMZ to Seoul. Even after you manage to arrive at the DMZ, you can see that the pass check is sellout after a long standing in the waiting line of the ticket office. Some traveler finds out that they have forgotten to bring their passport only after they are requested to show them to an MP of the military checkpoint.
Yes, the wisest way to DMZ is to use the particular service of Seoulcitytourbooking tour. You don’t need to worry by one simple booking with Seoulcitytourbooking, which has run a DMZ tour service for over 15 years. You will be offered with:
• The best storytelling tour guide for DMZ
• The most comfortable transportation to and from the DMZ (containing a morning pick-up service at your hotel in Seoul)
• The total service, including the entrance fee to tour the facilities of the DMZ