They’re rotating every 12 hours 24/7. What’s up guys? You’re watching Vagabrothers. Right now we’re on the border of North and South Korea. Welcome to the DMZ. Good morning guys. It’s 7am in Seoul, South Korea, and today we are heading to the edge of North Korea. We’re going to the Demilitarized Zone, the DMZ, which is the border between North and South Korea, but our bus leaves right now, so let’s go. Alright guys. We are at Camp Boniface, which is the JSA, the Joint Security Area right here on the front lines of the DMZ Basically, DMZ stands for Demilitarized Zone. It is a four kilometre wide, 251 kilometer long border between North and South Korea. Long story short is that after the Second World War, the Russians were in the north and the Americans were in the south….similar is kind of like East and West Germany, but instead of creating simply two states, there was a three-year long war that broke out between the two nations. Ironically enough, the DMZ means Demilitarized Zone, but this is one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world. There’s over a million standing troops on both sides if you add them both up, and right now we are in a United Nations camp. We’re going to be hopping onto a bus and heading to the front line between North and South Korea. Let’s go. We just traveled two kilometers through the DMZ to a neutral spot in the middle where the two nations are able to come and discuss matters on a daily basis. We weren’t allowed to film between the two areas because it still is an active military zone. They signed an armistice in 1953. The two countries are technically still at war. It’s kind of a relic of the Cold War. There’s two million anti-personnel mines between the countries, making this one of the most dangerous, heavily mined areas in the world. Just switch buses and arrived into the forward operating area, and we need to get off the bus right now, so let’s go. Thank you. On the table you can see the three microphones. This marks the official military demarcation line in this building. So those of you to my left are standing in North Korea right now, and those of you to my right are still safe with me in South Korea. This is where the armistice was officially signed These microphones actually represent the division between North and South Korea. I’m in South Korea right now; take a step across, and we are now in North Korea. These dudes are here permanently, the South Korean soldiers, and on the other side is a building complex, which is manned by the North Koreans. Bizarre version of Buckingham Palace. Everyone’s taking pictures of the guards. They seem to be chill; not talking at all because they’re not show; they’re totally on point and very, very intense. Last ones out of here. That’s it. Finished. That was really bizarre. It’s really hard for us to film right now. Excuse us if we’re just doing it in little bursts. Fast more than anything. We were taken off of the bus, through the building, given instructions we could not photograph until we arrived, and then we had about two minutes inside of the room where the armistice was signed in 1953, technically crossing into North Korea. I think that it’s one of those weird and neutral places, a non-space. This is not North Korea; it’s not South Korea. It’s a neutral zone, and I think that’s what makes it so fascinating. What’s even crazier is that there’s a village here of locals who are trapped pretty much in the DMZ Area. We need to turnoff the camera now. We’ve just gone to the jointly administered area and come back the South Korean side of the DMZ. It’s just crazy. We crossed through this whole area that’s essentially a no-man’s zone. It doesn’t really belong to North Korea; it doesn’t really belong to South Korea. It’s completely covered in mines. Two million anti-personnel mines in the area, and there’re anti-tank barriers All that is because North Korea has the fourth largest army in the world. It’s got 1.4 million active soldiers for a population 25 million. The Korean War was about three years long. Almost three million casualties, and it’s often referred to as the as the Forgotten War. But what is insane is that this military stalemate- this military situation- has lasted for over 60 years, and it is relatively forgotten. But it was really like the first Cold War conflict. You had Russia and communist China facing off against the United States, and this was one of the key arguments in what the U.S. called the Domino Effect: the idea that if a country like South Korea could fall to communism, the whole area …all of Asia would topple one after the other like a row of dominoes, which is of course why the United States went into Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia in the years afterwards. Also just to put it into perspective, the threat of nuclear war has always been at the heart of the Korea issue. Harry Truman contemplated using nuclear weapons. General MacArthur who was in charge of the United Nations forces here was pushing for nukes to be used. Truman said no because he thought it would completely escalate this conflict and turn it into another world war. You have to realize that the Korean War happened only five years after the end of the Second World War. The globe was exhausted from fighting and the Korean War very much was kind of a secondary conflict, and yet this situation, this military stalemate, continues to this day and being here, seeing it for ourselves, walking up to the edge of the border, it’s just been kind of a surreal experience and really puts all of the things that are happening right now with North Korea into context. What’s it like working here? Is it pretty weird? Working here is not a normal station. It’s actually really weird. We’ve stopped for lunch at this new-ish building. It opened in 2004, I think, and it was once an open- controlled, but open border between North and South Korea. They closed it when the North Koreans stepped up provocation, and now there’s just a restaurant here. When we do the DMZ tour, they take buses here to eat. Kind of a strange building because it’s new, clean and empty, but it smells like formaldehyde and soiled linen, and this is where we will be eating. The creepiest thing about this place is our bus is gone, and I don’t know if we’ve been left here because this would be a bad place to be stranded in the middle of a no -man’s land because then you can’t walk back across the civilian exclusion zone. So you just have to live here eating the formaldehyde food. I feel like the Tom Hank’s movie. Today keeps getting weirder. We are now at a theme park in the middle of the civilian exclusion zone, and we have 45 minutes here. Apparently this is because our tour guide needs to go buy tickets and arrange some paperwork with the South Korean Army who run the tunnel section of the tour. The last section was run by The United Nations. There’re some rides, some ice cream, so we might just get an ice cream and take a walk around and see if we can go on one of these rollercoasters. There’s something extremely creepy about abandoned theme parks and especially ones that are jutted up against the Demilitarized Zone and one of the longest enduring conflicts in the world. This place is closed and empty, and we’re going to sit here and drink a beer because why not? We’re not in North Korea. We’re really close but there’s just a very strange feeling here. It feels like North Korea here. Everything’s dead There’s nobody here. It’s quiet. In general, it’s very bizarre. I think it’s time we get out of this amusement park. Our bus is leaving, and we need to head to the tunnel. Now we’re standing in front of this massive railway station that was supposed to be an international railway station linking the two Koreas. You might wonder after all this talk of doom and gloom if there’s any shred of hope. Well, in the late 1990s– 1998 to 2007, more or less, there’s this period known as the Sunshine Period where peace looked possible. The South Koreans were giving a lot of money to the North Koreans for development, and they invested in projects like this in the hope that it could start some positive cooperation. It might seem kind of silly to build railway stations for peace, but actually, one of the major theories of peace building is that cooperation on simple things, such as trade, such as managing shared waterways… these are the sorts of things that require a minimum of politeness and can start building on larger areas of cooperation. This was built in 2002 or 2003. A few years later, tensions rose again, and it was abandoned. A strange symphony of sounds happening right now. There’s a siren going off somewhere over there. There’s classical music coming from North Korea, and then there’s just geese because there’s all these geese migrating through the DMZ. Now this gets me excited. That is probably a crazy train trip. I have done the Trans Mongolian Railroad from Beijing to Moscow via Ulaanbaatar. Imagine going from Lisbon all the way down as far as Singapore. It’s called the Turn. The Trans Eurasian Railway Network, and that would be the longest rail journey in the world. If peace does happen and this railway gets opened up, you could potentially ride from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Atlantic overland. Now we’ve just driven up this big hill, this place called Dorasan. This is a system of fortifications and a watchtower on a mountain right above the DMZ, and this is where we’re going to get our first clear view into North Korea. You can hear the music, which is coming from a propaganda village that the North Koreans have built on the other side of the DMZ. I’ve got my won, going to put it in and describe what I see. That is the industrial village over there. Apparently, most of this is abandoned. There’s only a few people who go in there to maintain the buildings. Two observations: First of all, for a country that doesn’t trade much with the rest of the world, great sound system. They must have built it, reversed engineered it or something. Secondly, if you’re trying to convince people to defect to your country, you can choose better music. I mean, kpop? Kpop is pretty good. This is not kpop. This is like K Propaganda. KPROP. We’re finally on our way down into the tunnel, which was dug by the North Koreans. There’ve been four of these tunnels that were discovered in the 70s, part of a North Korean plan to have a overwhelming invasion of South Korea. All the tunnels in the direction of Seoul, coming from four different directions. We can’t film inside. It’s a military facility, so we have to put our cameras in the locker. Bummer. We’ve just emerged from the tunnel. We were not allowed to film down there, but pretty mind-boggling to think that there were four of those discovered as late as 1990 and that the top priority for North Korea is unification through force. But this whole situation today has just been absolutely bizarre, very unique. The fact that we’re listening to North Korean propaganda coming across the DMZ through the forest, and that’s just normal and perpetual here. I don’t know what do you think ? I think that you said it. One thing that both nations have in common is that they want to see the peninsula unified. That makes sense because the Korean culture is so unique. We had the chance to see a glimpse of it this week, certainly not all of it, but I do have hope. I do hope that the two Koreas can come together eventually, that there can be peace here, and that the millions of people who died in this conflict, did not die in vain. I don’t think you’re the only person who wants a unified future and more growth. Going to the train station that is a symbol that, you know, people are thinking of the future. I don’t know. Let us know your thoughts. Put them down in the comments section. Hopefully you guys enjoyed this video….. totally different style of vlogging, but one that we felt we needed to make. If you did enjoy it, you know what to do give it a thumbs -up. Tag your friends and subscribe and turn on notifications, if you have not. In the meantime, stay curious, keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace, seriously. Peace and love. Bye.