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Sunday, 22 October 2006

The DMZ tour...part three: the Joint Security Area

Good morningggggg world...welcome back! As promised here is the last segment of my tour to the DMZ. This was the moment I was waiting for. The other parts of the tour had taken its toll on my body (mainly that darn 3rd tunnel) but once we entered Camp Bonifas at Panmunjeom I gained my second wind. Camp Bonifas is named after US Army Captain Arthur Bonifas who was killed by North Korean soldiers in the notorious Axe Murder Incident of 1976.

We first were led into a quick briefing regarding proper conduct and the geography and history of the area. We also had to sign waiver forms that stated we were heading into an area where the unpredictable could happen and lead to injury or death--cool (not really)!

Here we are entering Ballinger Hall for the briefing. I felt like I was getting ready for war. The GI was brief and to the point:

Just sign along the dotted line please...and wear this badge so the North Korean guards know that you are not fair game when it comes to target practice:

The world's most dangerous par 3, one hole golf course...the other side of that fence is littered with land mines:

Okay. This video is the continuation from the last picture of my previous post where we were waiting on the steps. Entering the JSA area:

...and here we are. Yup, that is the North Korean side of the Military Demarcation Line in the distance. Notice the ROK soldier standing with only half his body exposed facing the North:

Here is another view. Notice the other soldier doing the same. We were told these guys can stand here up to 6 hours straight (what happens if they have an upset stomach?):

This North Korean soldier was watching us the entire time. We were told to not point or make any gestures toward the North Korean soldiers. It was an eerie feeling being here. It felt like a time warp. Remnants of the Cold War are clearly evident here:


olivia said...

hi! did they mention why they stand halfway behind the building?

Gary said...

Yes...so they can protect half their body in case they get shot at!

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