Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Putting The World Back Together...

We continue this evening with one of my favourites from the South Korean collection, which features SwissToni doing his bit for race relations, or something. He is doing his part as this fine monument is situated in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, and symbolises the split between the two nations.

I would write about the history of the zone and stuff but Wikipedia do it far better here. The monument is situated near to the third tunnel where North Koreans attempted to dig towards Seoul. This tunnel was discovered in October 1978, and was discovered following a tip off from a North Korean defector. This time the South Koreans failed to find the tunnel directly, but dug a counter-tunnel to meet the North Korean tunnel. The tunnel is about 2 kilometres long and about 150 metres below surface. A pretty good digging effort when compared to the Great Escape eh?

1 comment:

SwissToni said...

when this tunnel was discovered, the N. Koreans initially tried pretending it had nothing to do with them, but when it was clear that this wasn't going to work, they fell back on plan B: paint bits of the granite wall in the tunnel black and pretend it was a coal mine. I'm not kidding - you can still see the black bits on the wall when you go down there. It might be funny if they didn't think they were still tunnelling elsewhere.

I found it quite enlightening actually... the 4km strip between the 2 sides, the DMZ itself, has essentially become a nature reserve around the most heavily fortified border in the world, and the S. Koreans I met there all told me how they see themselves as one nation that will be joined together again one day... they have no enmity for the North at all. When I mentioned George W. Bush and his apparent inclusion of the North in his "Axis of Evil", the reaction was alawys the same: the USA has done enough damage in Korea, they can bugger off and leave the Koreans to sort out their own problems.

Beautiful country though, great food and lovely people. What more could you want?