South / North Korea and a Dream of Unification

On our last day in South Korea we took a guided tour to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone.) This is a border barrier of 4 kilometres in width, which divides the Korean Peninsula roughly in half. It was created by agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953.

The first thing we noticed was a single North Korea soldier standing on his side of the border facing three South Korean solders only a few meters away.

Within the DMZ lies a small blue building of which exactly half is situated in North Korea and the remaining half in South Korea. When you are in the room you can freely cross into North Korea, even if it is only by 4 meters. At each end on this modest structure is a simple door. One door will take you to the north and the other to the south. In the centre of the room is a table with 6 chairs. This is the location where the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement which “paused” the Korean War was signed and where negotiations until this day take place between the two Korea’s. It was really quite surreal to be in this very same room.

The tour ends with a visit to the Dorasan train station, currently unused. This station symbolize the South Korea´s dream of unification of the two Koreas, Situated 56 km from Seoul and 205 km from Pyongyang (Capital of North Korea), it is described not as the last station from the South but the first station towards the North.

There is a dedication site from Germany with a digital clock showing the time when Germany was split and then reunified. Beside this is the Korea clock ticking away until the two Koreas finally meet again …

South/ North Korea and a Dream of Unification from SAMt & Bike Without Borders on Vimeo.

27 thoughts on “South / North Korea and a Dream of Unification

  1. Ana

    Uff muy fuerte!!! Despues de todo lo ue los medios venden ver esto es muy fuerte!! Muy loco lo de la estación y el reloj alemán.

    1. Gaby Post author

      Si, el reloj al lado del muro de Berlin es muy significativo …muestra que la mayoría del sur quiere volver a ser UNA KOREA

  2. Mike Adamson

    John and Gabby: I served in the US Army in South Korea from 1970 to 1971. I also was married to a South Korean for 13 years. The view that was portrayed in the video is not what my understanding of the situation was/is on the Korean Peninsula. Most of your past videos are a-political, but in this one I feel a sense of finger pointing in this part of the world, this Korean situation is not an American created situation. Korea is a beautiful country with many cultural and historic sights. Go to Hayensa (sp) and see one of 2 complete works of Buddha on wooden tablets, and many other cultural sights throughout the country. Explore the history of the Turtle Boats, the first iron clad boats, the Buddhist sculptures, the many sites of Japanese occupation that have made the South Korean society the vibrant culture it is today. The DMZ is a reminder of what was, South Korea is an example of what can be.

    Keep your reports coming. Hope to meet up with you again.

    1. John Post author

      Hi Mike,

      We couldn’t agree more that Korea is a beautiful country and there is much to see whether historical and/or cultural. However, as you can appreciate, we just happened to be there during the election process and whilst the tensions between the UN and North Korea are relatively high. The military presents whether on the sea or in the sky was quite constant and a reminder that there is still a large divide between the two neighbours.

      In the video we simply posted what we saw and tried to transmit the message which was repeated to us by so many South Korean’s. The message in most cases is that one day they would like to become Korea once again. No North no South, just Korea. Of course they have a long way to go before this will ever be achieved but this is their dream.

      Our intention was certainly not to portray that the situation in the Korean Peninsular was created by the US or any one else but instead to show what it looks like today and how the people are feeling. The simple fact is that the UN presence (especially the American) is very visible today and most would agree, needed due to the current situation. There were many protests in the streets in Seoul, some pro American (which could be seen in the video) and some not.

      As you say, would be great to meet again some day 🙂

  3. nick mainwaring

    Hi john & Gaby .. fantastic footage once again. the tension and ongoing tension in korea is unfortunate for a country that has so much to offer .. truly a sad situation.
    Seems the electricians skills are much the same all over Asia! …
    thanks for the update .. cheers, Nick

  4. Heath

    Still great vids..always keen to tune in and still learning more about the world through these vids than i ever did at school ! LoL

  5. Penny Hewitt

    Thanks for sharing that.. such an interesting place on so many levels. Another amazing video! See you in a couple of weeks!

  6. Jorge morato

    Muy interesante, realmente una visión diferente a la que conocemos a través de lis medios de comunicación. Un abrazo

    1. GABY Post author

      Gracias Jorge. Fue una sorpresa para nosotros también , nunca escuchamos de esa estación y de el deseo de re unificación , muy interesante conversando con la gente y escuchando sus opiniones … se aprende mucho viajando …mas que lo que muestran las noticias … un abrazo Gaby

  7. Alex Winter

    Hi J & G
    Great video as usual , thank you for sharing your epic adventure .
    Alex Winter.

  8. Pamela

    Gaby and John, what great videos. I just love the way you film and show us the various subjects you choose. To me it is as if I was travelling with you. The videos seem more real than what we see on tele. From experience I know you see a city/country/town and its atmosphere very quickly from these first images. However I also know if you live there a long time the experience is different…you become accustomed and familiar with it. I wonder though if the first opinion formed is nearer the truth.

    1. John Post author

      Very interesting point of view and one which we hadn’t really thought about. I guess after you’ve spent too much time in the one location, you tend to become over familiar with the surroundings and what you see (or don’t see) become contaminated to a certain point.

      Maybe first impressions are nearer to the truth?


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