Visiting the DMZ in South Korea

11/14/2013

When the barrier between North and South Korea was set up 60 years ago, no one would have guessed that it would become one of South Korea's most popular tourist attractions, with more than 5 million visitors a year. Known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), this 155-mile cease-fire line slashes the peninsula in two and was created at roughly the 38th parallel after the Korean War. Lined on both sides by electrified fences, armed sentries and land mines, it is a surreal place — it is both historically fascinating and a reminder that hostilities still exist. Tours to the DMZ vary, but most include the following sites: Imjingak, a tourist area that was developed jointly by both countries in 1972; the Joint Security Area and tunnels built by the North Koreans for possible invasions.

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