The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. It is 155 miles long and approximately 2.5 miles wide and is the most heavily armed border in the world.
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is the one that divides the two Koreas. It is the most heavily fortified border in the world, bristling with watchtowers, razor wire, landmines, tank-traps and heavy weaponry.
Between North and South is a strip of rugged no man’s land, the DMZ proper averaging two and a half miles (4km) wide. A sense of tension fills the air along with, from time to time, the sounds of martial music and propaganda blasted out from giant speakers installed along the North Korean side. Also on the North Korean side is what the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s tallest flagpole soaring some 160 meters (525ft) into the air.
Both United States and South Korea have built a massive unclimbable wall across the entire length of the DMZ (the Korean wall). Upon the collapse of the Berlin Wall, propagandists in the North seized upon its value and proclaimed this huge system of fencing and tank barriers to be a wall equivalent to the one in Berlin, while failing to mention their version of the wall. The series of fencing, tank traps, and landmines extends across the peninsula along both sides of the DMZ.
They have been on a hair trigger for almost 50 years, ever since the last shot was fired in the Korean War and an uneasy truce came into force. Officially that war has not yet ended and no formal peace deal has ever been signed and the war could start again at any moment. Virtually undisturbed for half a century the zone has also become a rugged natural haven for several endangered species including the white-naped and red-crowned cranes as well as nearly extinct Korean subspecies of tiger and leopard
Being one of the world’s major flashpoints, the DMZ has become a major tourist attraction drawing in hundreds and thousands of visitors a year.