DMZ ( Morning）
Based on his testimony, North Korea was still constructing tunnels along the entire length of the 155 mile long DMZ and so, South Korea began a systematic search for the tunnels. The discovery of Tunnel 3 was the first discovery of a tunnel as a direct result of this search.
Tunnel 3 was discovered on October 17,1978, in the west front line portion of the DMZ, 7km north of Munsan,4 years after discovering Tunnel 1 also in the west front line.
The size of Tunnel 3 is similar to that of Tunnel 2, however, it presents a greater threat than Tunnels 1or 2 due to its location only 4km northwest of Imjingak and 3.5km from Unification Village.
It is also only 44km from Seoul and can be reached in only 45 minutes by car. Tunnel 3 is 1,635m long, 2.1m wide, 1.95m high, and runs at a depth of approximately 70m. It is an arch-shaped tunnel constructed by using compressors and dynamite to break up the rock.
The tunnel is big enough to fit three abreast and can accommodate 30,000 troops an hour. According to Kim, Bu-sung Tunnel 3 also has 5 exits to the south of which they normally would use 1-2,but in wartime they could use all 5. And so, one can presume that the design of this tunnel was also to facilitate the use of guerrilla warfare at the same time a conventional war was being conducted.
Once again even though North Korea insisted the tunnel was a natural cave the downward slope of the tunnel to let water run and the many artifacts of North Korean origin, including 167 dynamite charges proved that North Korea was responsible for the tunnel. Fortunately, there were no casualties during the discovery of Tunnel 3.
Points of view of DMZ Tour
The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel
The highlight of the DMZ tour is to explore a tunnel dug by North Korea. Since 1974, South Army has discovered four tunnels crossing the MDL. The tunnels are believed to have been planned as a military invasion or infiltration route. Each tunnel is large enough to enable the passage of thirty thousand soldiers in one hour. The 3rd tunnel discovered in 1978 penetrates into South Korea by 435 meters beyond the ceasefire line. You are going to hear how the tunnel was discovered with more detailed information. After listening to the story, you will enter into the actual tunnel to find the ambition of North Korea to make another sudden invasion. In addition, you are going to watch a short documentary film at the DMZ theater, and look around relics and reproductions of Korean War at its small exhibition hall.
Situated in Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do and at the northernmost point of the Military Demarcation Line, Dora Observatory replaced the previous Songaksan Observation Post. From the observatory, visitors can overlook North Korea and various locations including Gaeseong, Songaksan, Kim Il-Sung Statue, and Cooperation Farm (Geumamgol). The observatory offers 500 seats, VIP rooms, and abundant parking space. It was first opened to the public in January 1987.
A sign in the station reads, “Not the last station from the South, But the first station toward the North.”For now, it is the northernmost station of South Korea which is only 700m, or a half mile away from the southern boundary of DMZ. The milestones of Dorasan Station (205km to Pyeongyang, 56km to Seoul) imply the reality of the division between two Koreas and the hope of a future. Although the tracks are connected, the north regime doesn't allow trains to pass through, making $40 million station sit unused. However, it serves as a beacon of hope for the reunification of two Koreas. Currently, it’s the last stop, but someday it will take you to Europe through the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Imjingak is the most representative place that symbolizes Koreans’ desire to reunify two Koreas. It is a small theme park with rides at one side and barbed wire fences at the other side, making it a bizarre place. The park is a place to pray for the reunification of Korea. There are two historical things in the park site. One of them is a bridge called Freedom Bridge. It is an eighty three meter long wooden bridge used by 13,000 POWs who came down to South Korea seeking freedom. Another one is an original steam locomotive smokestack from the Korean War. The train was used by the South Army before being destroyed in 1950. It was deserted for 55 years with 1,020 bullet marks.
D.M.Z. Tour Highlights
DMZ Tour: Introduction
DMZ is a buffer zone between two Koreas, bisecting the Korean Peninsula DMZ has been the most popular tourist spot of Korea for foreigners since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The purpose of the zone is to prevent the recurrence of war between North & South Koreas.
The zone ranges 2 km north and south respectively from the ceasefire line of 1953. The land stretches across the Korean Peninsula 155 miles from the mouth of Han River to the East Coast.
It’s one of the most well-preserved wild-life refuges where peace and tension coexist. The President of Korea, Park Geun-hye, is pushing to build a “peace park” in the DMZ as a new symbol of political reconciliation and ecological conservation.
DMZ Tour: Historical Backgrounds
The surrender of Japan in 1945 at the end of Pacific War saw the division of Korea by the 38th parallel line when the US and the Soviet Union moved into Korean Peninsula.
The division line was intended to be a temporary political border, but the failure to hold free election throughout the peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides.
The North Korean tanks crossed the 38th line at the dawn of June 25, 1950. The war lasted for three years and one month to cost more than two million people's lives. The ceasefire agreement was signed at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. The armistice, not a peace treaty, is still in effect today.
DMZ Tour Points
▪ DMZ is the top tourist attraction foreign visitors want to pay a visit to in Korea.
▪ It’s the tourist attraction you can only see in Korea, the only divided nation in the world.
▪ Discover the 3rd Underground Tunnel within DMZ that would have rewritten Korean history unless found.
▪ Thrilling walk in the most threatening tunnel closest to South Korea, through which over 500 soldiers, even tanks can go through.
▪ Meaningful visit to Dorasan Train Station, which would be the first station connecting Eurasian Continent (Asia and Europe).
▪ DMZ is a place historically connecting the past, present and future of Korea.