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The Korean Demilitarized Zone
The border village of Panmunjeom is 55km north of Seoul. It is the only place in the Demilitarized Zone where visitors are allowed. It is not possible to go there alone; the only way to get there is by taking an official tour. At the beginning of the tour we were asked to sign a piece of paper which states that visitors enter the DMZ at their own risk. A copy of the paper can be viewed in a pop-up window by clicking here.
Me at the Korean Demilitarized Zone
Photos can only be taken at designated areas. At the beginning of the tour, when we arrived at the first checkpoint, an armed South Korean soldier boarded our bus after he thought he saw one of the Japanese tourists take a photo. The soldier neary confiscated his camera film until the tourist insisted he didn't take any photos.
A lookout tower in North Korea, the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Me with North Korea in the background, the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Julie standing inside North Korea in one of the UN buildings, the Korean Demilitarized Zone

A soldier guards one of the UN buildings which straddle the border. The left side of the table is in south Korea. The right side is in North Korea. The soldier outside is North Korean.

Two of the UN buildings which straddle the border. On one side of the border (in the foreground) South Korean soldiers stand guard. On the other side their North Korean counterparts do the same.

Two North Korean soldiers stand inches away from the border.

The North Korean village of Gijong is completely deserted; it has no residents.

The Bridge of No Return is where many prisoner exchanges have taken place in the past. North Korea lies at the opposite end.