* Here is the tip in DMZ tour! If you wonder it is South Korea or North Korea, you can simply get the answer by observing the mountain. If there are trees on the mountain, you are looking at South Korea. And if it is bare, it is North Korea because the much poorer Northerners cut them down for heating purposes.
During the DMZ tour, South Korean soldiers are getting in to ask you to show your passport. So please ask for cooperation.
Now we are passing the Unification Bridge in DMZ tour course. There is a famous episode on this bridge. Do you know Hyundai company well known as automobiles. The founder of Hundai company is정주영. I think he has accomplished a lot in his life. I will introduce representative 2 stories. First is about cow. He was born in North Korea. He was raised in poverty so he wanted out of the living. Looking for a better life, he left North Korea in his teens and came to South with stolen cow from his parents. Later, he became one of the most successful people in Korea. After his success, he went back with 1001 cows, 1 cow to return back and 1000 cows as the interest. And he crossed the Unification Bridge when he went to North Korea. Second is Gaesung Complex.
He put a lot of efforts on building factory near the border called ‘Gaesung industrial Complex’ to help North Korean people and put efforts to mend the strained relationship between the two countries. The complex was opened in 2002 as part of the Sunshine Policy. And it made South Korea access to cheap labor ‘100$ per month’ and gave North Korea foreign currency. So about 53,000 North Koreans and 800 South Koreans are employed at that time. Unfortunately, the complex had to close due to aggravation between two countries, that brought not only the South-North relation improve but also economic effects.
Now, we are close to reaching 3rd infiltration tunnel. We are going to watch 8min. video about DMZ tour at the theater and looking around the DMZ tour Exhibition center. And spend 1 hour at 3rd tunnel. Please get here by 11am.
In Exhibition hall) This tunnel was discovered in 1978 by South Korean forces. Until before 1975, the 3rd Tunnel was unknown. In 1975, North Korean defector named 김부성 claimed that the north had built a secret passageway across the demilitarized zone for the main purpose of invading the south. To find the location, PVC pipes filled with water were placed every 2 meters along the expected location. And over three years later, one of the PVC exploded with water shooting up into the air. So South Korea was able to find the secret passageway called the 3rd Tunnel.
North Korea, first, denied the responsibility and insisted that it is an old coal mine shaft. However the walls had been covered with soot. (Oh, Yes it really looked like mine. How smart they are) It was built through granite, far from any coal mine and there are even marks where dynamite was placed.
It is only 44 km from Seoul and it takes less than an hour by car. And it is estimated that about 30,000 soldiers could move through the tunnel per hour. So compare to other tunnels, 3th tunnel is pretty large and more threatening as an invasion tool.
In front of information board) As you can see on this board, the 3rd tunnel is total 1,635m long and 2m height. DMZ tour is here, so here is all we can get, no further. We are going down through this passage. Before going in, please let me tell you a couple of things.
First, when you arrive, you are required to leave your cameras in lockers because photographs are not allowed inside.
Second, always wear your helmet. In DMZ tour You will be surprised how many times you bump your head into the roof when it becomes narrow. (To be honest, that is what I did. I felt so exhausted because I kept bumping my head into the roof even if I already bumped my head enough.) So please watch out your head.
Third, walking down the inclined pathway to the tunnel is easy. But walking back up the pathway could cause trouble for those who are out of shape. And if there is a person who has asthma, I would recommend taking breathing medication. Please take your time in DMZ tour.