In Monday morning of July 27, 1953, the armistice agreement was signed in Panmunjeom. The high lands of battle line
became calm. From the sea, the battleships sailed back and the combat aircrafts calmly landed on their airfield.
The war was over. That's the armistice. Retreating immediately two kilometers, both South and North respectively made
the area between them the buffer zone called the Demilitarized Zone.
And, outside 5~20km behind DMZ, the South set up the another line called the Civilian Control Line. DMZ is the area promised to prohibit from stationing of the army, deployment of arms, and from installing the military facilities. And, effectively keeping the promise in Civilian Control Line, the South, according to
its necessity, prevented civilian from settling there and from making the industrial
Needless to say, the North might have set up such a line to its purpose. Then the Korean Peninsula wore the
thick belt, meanderingly enclosing its waist.
After that, fifty years passed and another century came. 'What about the belt?' In the mind of people, it became to be reminded as the scar of Cold War between the West and the East that the twentieth century left to the earth. Many people imagined that grass and trees grow up to the full, so do the bird and the fish and that all kinds of wild animals go about but there will no obstacle of them. Such a imagination might be the beginning.
Before half century, the South and the North lost a part of each other, but they found gaining the reflecting benefit, 'a treasure of natural ecology'. Tardily, when visited there, Nature is keeping the new order, and its ecology was very uniquely unfolded. Ragweed visited the battle field is pushing out the native plants and making the fierce territorial struggle, and the empty village people had left was seized by the woods of acacia, willow, and reeds.
|Though people feared there mines laid, Nature fearlessly occupied there. There seemed to solely grow up foxtail millet, a red-bean, oat, cotton plant, corn, potato and so on. In addition to this, there visit crane Grus japonensis, crane and white-naped crane Grus vipio from Siberia, and eagles in flocks from the Mongolian highlands, and there live a flock of goral Nemorhaedus goral raddeanus which have been known to be exterminated. The place is the only war natural ecological park existing on earth.|
However, the more carefully looking into there and thinking of there deliberately, the more it is the interesting place.
Before fifty years, each nation of the world tested the power of weapons there. And there are 'exhibited' the
cutting-edge weapons, of the East and West camps, having been renewed and improved. And all kinds of strategies and
tactics are schemed and practiced. And there the past and the present exist of the South Korean army and the North army,
the army of the liberal camp and the communist camp about the military uniform, badge of rank, barracks, military
discipline, cooking and lodging of soldiers, etc.
Though all kinds of war instruments, strategies and tactics got together in the only place of the world, it is the great war museum being utilized even now. It is the place where the very interesting DMZ area culture is created. Mixed with the military culture and that of people nationwide who have gathered, the place may well be regarded as Korean-styled 'Melting Pot' from which the very unique culture is formed. DMZ, the place is the sociological classroom which produces another culture.
The capital castle of Gungye is located in the middle of DMZ, and his relic and legend cover along DMZ, to Dosolsan in Yanggu. And in the mine field of Gajeon-ri are contained to be buried the manners and the customs intact as those were half century ago including house sites, paddy fields and dry fields of over three-hundred houses. The place is the great historical relic and the cultural tomb.
Labor Party building in Cheorwon was erected in the liberated space, and is the only building where the traces are left as for both the South and the North Korea. Seungilgyo of Hantangang has been told the essence of 'bridge aesthetics', which was built in the very year the North regime had established. They may be the very important clues which enables to understand the architecture of North Korea. Jeil Methodist Church in Cheorwon, ice storehouse, Dongju monetary union, the filature factory, Cheorwon station, Woljeong station and other buildings are the urban ruins the Japanese built from 1910 to the Liberation. The remains now show the architectural art and the people's thought at that time. The place is the international Architecture and Civil engineering history museum where we have laid aside due to ignorance so far.
Additionally, the place is geographical classroom where there are Cheorwon Plains created by lava spewed forth from Orisan, and the coastal basin dug by the meteoric stone fallen. The place is also 'Bible Route', where twelve Christians were martyred. The place is the ruins of the Cold war which the twentieth century had left. Furthermore, the place is 'Korean Nature History Museum' containing Korea intact before the twentieth century. DMZ left the unexpected resources as the heritage which not only the Korean but also the foreigner visiting Korea want to visit to feel.
|Ham Kwang Bok|