baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And what about the guys in the tunnel?

“In 1974, a North Korean defected to the South and told of a plot by the North Koreans to invade South Korea. The way that they would accomplish this would be to drill a tunnel from the DMZ, under the DMZ and then straight to Seoul where they would pop out and invade. Sound ridiculous? It was true. The South Koreans discovered three tunnels. The North Koreans had drilled and blasted through limestone, one of the hardest substances on earth under the DMZ and had made it 400 meters into South Korea. In the capitalist spirit, the South Koreans stopped the tunnel construction, kicked out the North Koreans, blocked the tunnel and turned it into a tourist attraction. “

Tomorrow matt and I are going to head up north and into these tunnels. The North’s army was instructed to dig these things into the South, besides that, I don’t know anything. That is why I am going on the tour. I am curious what happened in the tunnels. What happened to the Northern diggers when they were found? Where and how are they sealed? How long would it have taken the North to dig all the way into seoul, to Yonsei Universtiy, and up into my room? So these are my questions, do you have any? Will check my blog before I head up.

here is a bit more information:

“When the South Korean government built a 100 metre tall flagpole in Taesong-dong in the 1980's, the North Korean government responded by building a taller one. This flagpole is the tallest in the world, 160 metres tall, with the North Korean flag at the top itself weighing in at about 270 kg when dry. The flag must immediately be taken down when it starts to rain, as it cannot support its own weight when wet.

A few tunnels have been discovered connecting North Korea to South Korea under the DMZ, which authorities in the south have alleged to be conduits for covert invasion. The first tunnel was discovered on 15 November 1974. It is believed to be about 45 metres below surface, with a total length of about 3.5 kilometres, penetrating over 1000 metres into the DMZ. When the first tunnel was discovered, it featured electric lines and lamps, as well as railways and paths for vehicles. The second was discovered on 19 March 1975, and is of similar length and between 50 and 160 metres below surface. The third tunnel was discovered on 17 October 1978. As the previous two, the third tunnel was discovered following a tip off from a North Korean defector. This time the South Koreans failed to find the tunnel directly, but dug a counter-tunnel to meet the North Korean tunnel. This tunnel is about 2 kilometres long and about 150 metres below surface. The fourth tunnel was discovered on 3 March 1990. It is almost identical in structure to the second and the third tunnel.
The tunnels are each large enough to allow the passing of a division in a single hour. Today, it is possible to visit some of the tunnels as part of guided tourist tours from the south.

Tourists visiting the southern side of the DMZ are told (by US soldiers acting as tour guides) that the North Korean building facing South Korea on the DMZ is not a real building, but "a facade designed to look large and impressive, in reality only a frame a few feet (1m) thick." Tourists who have visited the northern side of the DMZ have refuted this. Propaganda in the North has stated that the US and South Korea have built a massive unclimbable wall across the entire length of the DMZ. While the wall in question in fact exists, it is little more than a tank barrier. Upon the collapse of the Berlin Wall, propagandists in the North seized upon its value and proclaimed this tank barrier to be a wall equivalent to the one in Berlin.”

information from this site


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