The table of Panmunjeom

Table of Panmunjeom

Panmunjeom: the only official point where the most dangerous border of the world can be crossed in very exceptional cases.  It is the symbol of the division of a country, a division of a culture, a division of families, a division of a peninsula. The North and the South of Korea are now in war for more than 50 years, and seem stucked in this situation for the incoming decades.

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) cuts the old unified Korea into two parts with two kilometers of almost no-man’s land in the south and the same organization in the north.

I get the chance to visit Panmunjeom checkpoint from both Side, North and South. It’s obviously an highly controlled and protected areas, where two regimes ideologically stricly opposed are facing each other. I could speak for hours about this border and I would highly suggest to every traveler visiting Seoul to take the chance to visit this border. It is truely an interesting and potentially deep experience.

The above picture is very representative of the way North Korea is considering its history. Our official north korean army guide is proudly standing at the top of the table where the armistice was signed in 1953. Our guides places the visitors into two groups: asian on the north korean side of the table, and foreigners on the american side. The army guide was cleary explaining how the DPRK finally forced the imperialists to sign the peace and ends in this way the war. Translators at his sides then translated sentence by sentence his speech.


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