The Demilitarized-Zone (DMZ)
As one of the last relics of the Cold War, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) attracts a great deal of public interest, and is a popular destination for travelers visiting Korea. Despite the fact that this is the most heavily armed border in the world, it is extremely rare that any hostilities take place. These days the DMZ is a safe destination that we would thoroughly recommend to any traveler. The DMZ and its surroundings contain many interesting historical sights and pristine untouched natural surroundings.
Tours from Seoul first take you along Freedom Road, the flat and straight highway connecting the capital with the DMZ. The buses eventually reach the Imjingang River, crossed by the Unification Bridge. This is the end of the line for most civilians. If you’re with a tour group, however, you’ll pass through an army checkpoint at the southern end of the bridge and cross into the Civilian Limit Zone and, a bit beyond that, the Joint Security Area, or JSA.
The JSA is split down the middle by the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), the actual “border” between North and South Korea. On the southern side are the impressive Freedom House and Peace House, which aside from being splendid pieces of modern Korean architecture, are also used for inter-Korean meetings. In the near distance, in the North Korean village of Kijong-dong, is home to the world’s tallest flag post (160 meters), flying the world’s largest flag.
Getting There: Tours to the DMZ are promoted by almost every hotel, hostel, and guesthouse in Seoul. Visit the information counter of your accommodation for brochure and enquiries.