The DMZ: Heavily fortified and a popular tourist attraction

The front line of the tension between North and South Korea is the Demilitarized Zone, located just a few miles from where the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held.

The United States and South Korea are facing mounting tension with North Korea.  This comes after North Korea test fired its most powerful missile yet – which could target the east coast of the U.S.  

The front line of this tension is the Demilitarized Zone or ‘D-M-Z,’ located between North and South Korea.  It stands just a few miles from where the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held.  

And along the most the most fortified border on the planet Koreans and tourists can visit to learn about history and peak into life on the other side.

Statues and historic military aircraft make the Unification observation tower in South Korea look like any other tourist attraction.

But then you see the barbed wire, armed soldiers and attack helicopters flying overhead. And are reminded it's a place of high tension and for South Koreans like John Lee, it's a place that divides the country. 

"That’s the line that divides South Korea and North Korea after that land over there it’s North Korea," Lee described. 

The Demilitarized Zone was set up in 1953 after the fighting ended in the Korean War. It's a mile-wide fenced in barrier between South Korea and North Korea.  

Along the fence are observation towers where South Korea can look at North Korea, and North Korea can look back.

The DMZ is a place without weapons or development, making it one of the most pristine natural landscapes in all of Asia. But on several mountain tops are guard posts with armed soldiers on patrol. 

There are also loudspeakers lining the fence that at times blast propaganda to the North. 

While the 150 mile long border splits Korea in two, there are also messages of unification with residents like John hoping one day that this border dividing their nation will be just another piece of Korean history.



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