Korean Demilitarized Zone
Today we went to a historic and active area of South Korea. I mean, it's kind of in South Korea. I'm talking about the DMZ!
The Korean Demilitarized Zone a.k.a DMZ (한반도 비무장지대) is along the border between North Korea and South Korea.
A little brief history:
Once upon a time, more correctly during World War 2, The Soviets has begun to take over Korea by coming from above and US helped to stop by coming from the bottom of Korea upwards. When the war ended the North part of Korea was very much communist because of the Soviet influence and likewise, the Southern part of Korea leaned more towards democratic aspects because of the US. This led to the Korean War. North Korea was supported by the Soviet Union and the Republic of China while South Korea was supported by the United Nations. The civil-war-turned-proxy-war ended in 1953. After the armistice to officially end the war, the DMZ was built in place along the border in case of anything that may or could happen.
The split of the Korean Peninsula right at the 38th parallel and a 2.5 mile buffer zone on either side make up this Demilitarized Zone. The ‘demilitarized zone’ is the 5 mile between the two countries, but right outside of that boundary is a heavily guarded area. Although soldiers are allowed in the DMZ they must not cross the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that is the official line separating North Korea and South Korea. The zone, much like Area 51, allows no civilians to cross either way unless with special permission from North and South Korea. South Korea wants to stay on guard in case anything ever happens from the North, which would have to come over the DMZ.
Hence why now South Korea has one of the largest standing army forces in the world. It branches out to the Republic of Korea Army, Republic of Korea Navy, which also has the Republic of Korea Marine Corps, and the Republic of Korea Air Forces. All men in the country must serve the armed forces between ages 19 – 35 for a minimum of 21 – 24 months depending on the branch. There is also the Republic of Korea Reserve Forces in which only those that completed their service in the Armed Forces must complete another 8 years (first 4 years in Mobilization Reserve Forces and the next 4 years in Homeland Reserve Forces). ‘Reserve Forces’ means the citizens that combine a military and civilian role. The men are basically free to be back in the city after they have completed the military service, but if an enemy attacks then the men whom within 8 years of the end of their military service must resume their military role and serve to protect the country. Even celebrities have no exemptions.
Okay so I lied ... it wasn't the small brief of a history, but this information is necessary to understand further more about South Korea. After all, the past is what makes you who you are! Same goes for countries. I'm hungry so I'm going to find food and then update more later!