Have you ever been to the front lines in Korea? How are North and South Korea having a confrontation? I interviewed Yu Se-hwa (Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication) who visited Yeoncheon and Cheorwon through a CWNU Support Program.
Q. What is the purpose of visiting the front lines?
Yu: The purpose is to give us a chance to think about the reality of national division by seeing it directly. The reason I visited there is that I was usually interested in relations with North Korea and I thought there wouldn’t be a chance to visit anymore unless I went there when the university supported the program.
Q. Could you tell us about the travel schedule?
Yu: We first arrived at Goseokjeong Pavilion in Cheorwon where there is an Im Kkeokjeong statue. After having lunch, we went to see The 2nd Tunnel. Then we saw the Peace Observatory, Taxidermy Museum, and Woljeongni Station. We heard a North Korean defector speak in Yeoncheon and saw Seongjeon OP and North Korean Guerilla Invasion Route. Finally, we visited the National Intelligence Service in Seoul and came back to Changwon.
Q. How did you feel seeing North Korea?
Yu: I just felt empty and lonely after seeing the Northern region. There was nothing there and it was a wild plain. I looked at a small guard post through a telescope and also felt desolate. DMZ, Demilitarized Zone, was covered in a dense forest. I had a feeling that peace and tension coexist from the scene of large tracks of animals.
Q. What was the most impressive thing?
Yu: I can’t forget The 2nd Tunnel. I was shocked by the tunnel which North Korean forces had dug 3.5km for 3 years. 15,000 people are able to move for 1 hour using the tunnel. I was amazed at North Korean forces’ spirits because it might require a great deal of time and labor for people to dig a tunnel of this size.
Q. Is there any change to you after the field trip?
Yu: At first, I thought that North Korea is just the Korean race like us and we have to support them a lot. However, after experiencing the reality of national division in the front lines and hearing the acts that North Korea conducted to us, I felt ashamed at what I had thought before. I want other students to visit the front lines and have much awareness in the situation between North and South Korea.
Seong Jae-ho -
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