5 things AP journalists saw at Koreas' tense border village – Washington Post

By Ahn Younger-Joon and Kim Yong-Ho | AP,

PANMUNJOM, Korea — 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 strain was palpable as North and South Korean troops glared at one another throughout the navy demarcation line that divides their international locations.

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.

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NO-MAN’S LAND

Panmunjom sits contained in the closely mined Demilitarized Zone that serves because the de facto border between the Koreas, and the primary 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 among two American officers killed by axe-wielding North Korean troopers in a 1976 conflict.

A navy 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.

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TRUCE VILLAGE

The armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean Conflict was signed in Panmunjom, a former farming village. Later, North Korean and U.S. navy 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 look 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 non permanent reunions of households separated by the Korean Conflict.

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GIANT NORTH KOREAN FLAG

From a close-by navy checkpoint, North Korea’s frontline Kijong-dong village is seen throughout the border, with a large 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 unit 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.

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PROPAGANDA MONUMENT

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

“Nice comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il can be with us ceaselessly,” it reads, referring to present chief Kim Jong Un’s grandfather and father, who ruled the county earlier than him.

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BRIDGE OF NO RETURN

Seen is also the Bridge of No Return, the place North Korea and the American-led U.N. Command exchanged prisoners of conflict at the top of the Korean Conflict. 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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Related Press author Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.

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5 things AP journalists saw at Koreas' tense border village - Washington Post