In 1945, two Americans drew a line across their map of the Korean Peninsula. Above the 38th parallel, the Soviets would demilitarise the Japanese (who had controlled Korea since 1910), whilst below the task would fall to the Americans.
72 years later, there’s still a divide, just a bit more diagonal. But now a very dangerous and sad one; for families separated, for a people divided and for millions who live with the threat of nuclear war. Plans, hopes and dreams potentially obliterated on the whim of Kim Jong-un or Donald Trump.
On a grim wet day, Roger travelled 50 miles (80 km) north of Seoul into a grim landscape – beyond the civilian exclusion zone and Freedom Bridge, down one of the North Korean tunnels and looked across the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).
This is a view that should make many world leaders, past and present, ashamed. All of them too powerful, all of them men, and all of them pathetic creatures who nurture power instead of healing.
In 1989, with the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Europe was able to move out of the shadow of WWII and the Cold War. When will Korea be able to?
If you plan to do this Try and book the combined Joint Security Area (JSA) and DMZ tour. Because of the joint South Korean/American military exercises taking place whilst Roger was in Seoul, all tours of the JSA at Panmunjeom were cancelled.