by
on April 18, 2017 on 4/18/17

DMZ part 2 and part 3

I have had a draft of this blog for some time now, and have now been to the DMZ a total of 3 times, so I thought I would  talk about my experiences. CIEE, my exchange student program, goes on a DMZ tour each semester, and I took advantage of both of those opportunities. During the my second visit to the DMZ, we went to the 3rd tunnel and Dora Observatory, just like the first time I was there, but this time we went to the Joint Security Area, or JSA. While going there, something crazy happened. To preface this story, this past summer I befriended a guy from my home university (University of Minnesota) when he suddenly said he was too busy to meet anymore. Turns out, he enlisted in the military in order to do his required military service in Korea. Before touring JSA, we got a briefing about the area, and as I was walking into the building I heard someone call my name. I looked back, and it was the friend I had met over the summer. We were both shocked. It was a crazy moment. As for the overall feeling, it was difficult to fully focus on being in the most militarized zone in the world, when I had had such a shocking personal moment. However, I did get some photos, which are posted below.

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Binoculars at the Dora Observatory to view North Korea (2nd trip)

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View of North Korea (2nd trip)

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Dora Observatory (2nd trip)

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I don’t know the name of this statue, but I always feel drawn to it (2nd visit)

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My friend I met there during the 2nd trip

I personally am against taking photos with soldiers (unless I know them personally), but here are some photos of soldiers.

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JSA and my friend on duty (2nd visit)

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Bridge going to JSA

 

Seeing my friend a 2nd time on my 3rd trip to the DMZ

JSA, this time there was an actual North Korean soldier on the other side (3rd visit)