Everybody knows the Berlin Wall – but have you heard of the Korean Wall before?
According to North Korea the wall is 240 kilometers long, 5 to 8 meters high and packed with soil form the southern side (so it can be accessed by vehicles / military personnel) and it is completely invisible from South Korea. The United States and South Korea claim that the wall does not exist… but the DPRK is more than happy to show it to tourists.
We left the *JSA via the DMZ* and headed to the countryside; most likely northeast, probably for an hour. I tried to pin down the exact location of where we went to, but I failed. There are military posts on both sides of the DMZ every couple of hundred meters and it’s close to impossible to figure out with one we visited, so please consider the mark on the map a more or less wild guess.
Our driver parked the bus directly next to a small manned outpost and from there we went up a hill through a narrow trench like passage. Up there we found a rather flat building, partly hidden into the mountain, although the southern side very well knows what’s going on there…
What was going on? Well, a retired Colonel of the Korean People’s Army asked us to take a seat in surprisingly comfy chairs and told us all about the Korean Wall. How big it is, when it was built (between 1977 and 1979) and that it is slightly shorter than the DMZ, since there are openings at border crossings and at the Joint Security Area.
Afterwards we went outside to have a look ourselves. Sadly it was an overcast day and the visibility was everything but good, although the South Korean fortifications were less than 4 kilometers away. Even with the help of the ready to use binoculars and rather big zoom lenses it was impossible to clearly recognize the wall. The visible South Korean outposts were all on top of a mountain range and it looked like there was a wall or two below – whether it was a 240 kilometer long wall to separate the country or just a small construction to support the slope is hard to tell…
(Please *click here to get to Abandoned Kansai’s North Korea Special* and *here for a map about the tour at GoogleMaps*. If you don’t want to miss the latest article you can *follow Abandoned Kansai on Twitter* and *like this blog on Facebook* – and of course there is the *video channel on Youtube*…)