|Friday we were up early to make our way to the Lotte Hotel in the heart of Seoul for our trip and tour to the DMZ. We boarded the bus for the dual language tour (finally some English and some learning) with other Americans, Canadians, people speaking Spanish, etc and headed towards the DMZ. As we approached, we had a great view of North Korea out the window (see pictures). W then had our passports checked twice: once at the Civilian Demarcation line by a member of the South Korean military and once at the border of the DMZ at the Joint Security Area by an American soldier who accompanied us on our tour of the DMZ.
Note: The Joint Security Area is the only occupied area of the DMZ and is where conferences are held between the North and South. Panmunjom is often synonymous with this area, but Panmunjom is actually the town in North Korea where the original Armistace Agreement was signed and does not exist anymore.
On the tour we saw the JSA and went in the conference room (including "crossing the border" to the other side of the room. We also took in some other views of North Korea and saw the Freedom Bridge by which prisoners of war were returned.
We then headed to a traditional restaurant where we had to sit on the floor with our shoes off. I had bulgolgi which is beef and cooked at the table, and Katie had her usual: bibimbap.