I went to the DMZ last Friday. I thought it was really interesting in surprising ways. The tour guides were more emotional than I thought they would be and they knew less about North Korea than I expected them to. That’s not to say that they didn’t teach us about the actual DMZ/JSA. The tour was structured around places where things had happened since the construction of the DMZ. I think the stories about “Bridge of No Return” and the area where Vasily Matusak (a teenager from the Soviet Union) “ran to freedom” will stay with me.
It felt really isolated even though it’s so close to Seoul. It’s a weird place, where empty buildings are there just for show, where large groups of soldiers spend two years, and two villages within the DMZ face each other (one being totally crazy).