5 things AP journalists saw at Koreas' tense border village – Miami Herald

Some name it one of many scariest locations on Earth; others view it extra as a vacationer spot.

On a go to to the Korean border village of Panmunjom on Wednesday, the stress was palpable as North and South Korean troops glared at one another throughout the army demarcation line that divides their nations.

5 things that AP journalists saw on a media tour of Panmunjom, the place the Koreas might sit down as early as Friday for his or her first face-to-face talks since late 2015.



Panmunjom sits contained in the closely mined Demilitarized Zone that serves because the de facto border between the Koreas, and the principle street to the zone is lined with barbed-wire fences and safety watchtowers.

Journalists gathered close to Camp Bonifas simply south of the DMZ, a base named after Capt. Arthur Bonifas, one in every of two American officers killed by axe-wielding North Korean troopers in a 1976 conflict.

A army bus then took the journalists into the four-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide DMZ. Razor-wire fences and leafy hills dotted the slender path to Panmunjom.



The armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean Warfare was signed in Panmunjom, a former farming village. Later, North Korean and U.S. army officers used the positioning, now a bleak cluster of blue huts, for conferences to supervise the customarily-shaky truce.

On Wednesday, a handful of tall South Korean troopers — chosen to intimidate close by North Korean troops — stood rigidly, gazing towards the North by means of darkened sun shades. A lone North Korean soldier stood at consideration in entrance of a North Korean constructing and one other used binoculars to see from a window into the South.

South Korea has proposed two units of talks in Panmunjom, one on Friday on easing cross-border tensions and one other on Aug. to debate short-term reunions of households separated by the Korean Warfare.



From a close-by army checkpoint, North Korea's frontline Kijong-dong village is seen throughout the border, with an enormous North Korean flag fluttering from a 528-foot (160-meter) flagpole. An individual rode a bicycle alongside a street by means of agricultural fields, whereas one other walked on a path within the woods.

Seen behind shabby tile-roofed homes was a contemporary constructing at a now-shuttered joint Korean manufacturing facility park within the North Korean metropolis of Kaesong, as soon as an indication of detente however now a sufferer of rising tensions between the 2 Koreas.



A monument close to the flagpole glorifies the Kim household that has dominated North Korea for almost 70 years.

"Nice comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il might be with us perpetually," it reads, referring to present chief Kim Jong Un's grandfather and father, who ruled the county earlier than him.



Seen is also the Bridge of No Return, the place North Korea and the American-led U.N. Command exchanged prisoners of struggle at the top of the Korean Warfare. Close by is the positioning of the 1976 North Korean assault that killed Capt. Bonifas and one other officer, Mark Barrett. An empty checkpoint stands at the top of the bridge.

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5 things AP journalists saw at Koreas' tense border village - Miami Herald