A Village That Divided South Korea And North Korea
OSNepalNews, Kathmandu, 21st July: Some call it one of the scariest places on Earth; others view it more as a tourist spot.On a visit to the Korean border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday, the tension was palpable as North and South Korean troops glared at each other across the military demarcation line that divides their countries.The armistice that halted the 1950-1953 Korean War was signed in Panmunjom, a former farming village. Later, North Korean and U.S. military officers used the site, now a bleak cluster of blue huts, for meetings to oversee the often-shaky truce.From a nearby military checkpoint, North Korea’s frontline Kijong-dong village is visible across the border, with a giant North Korean flag fluttering from a 528-foot (160-meter) flagpole. A person rode a bicycle along a road through agricultural fields, while another walked on a trail in the woods.Visible behind shabby tile-roofed houses was a modern building at a now-shuttered joint Korean factory park in the North Korean city of Kaesong, once a sign of detente but now a victim of rising tensions between the two Koreas.Visible also is the Bridge of No Return, where North Korea and the American-led U.N. Command exchanged prisoners of war at the end of the Korean War. Nearby is the site of the 1976 North Korean attack that killed Capt. Bonifas and another officer, Mark Barrett. An empty checkpoint stands at the end of the bridge.