South Korea Summer 2013 travel blog

View of North Korea from the bus


JSA (Joint Security Area) within the DMZ, home of negotiations between North...

Inside the conference room


Technically on the North Korean side of the border in the conference...

Katie in North Korea

Katie in front of North Korea

Being watched by the North Korean soldier on the steps

Freedom Bridge





Ancestor Alter in memory of all North Koreans whose graves can not...


The proper way to eat bulgolgi... So delicious!

Kimchi and other sides

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.

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