Wondang-Ri, Gunnae-Ri of Paju-Gun.
DMZ, De-Militarized Zone, at the border to North Korea. 44 km from Seoul, 12 km from Munsan.
All year daily, reduced availability on Mondays.
Depends on operator, full day tour or half day tour.
DMZ Tour: Adults WON 57,000.
DMZ Transit Tour: Adults WON 21,000.
Depends on operator.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||W=2.10 m, H=1.95 m, L=1,635 m (435 m on SK territory).|
DMZ Transit Tour, Gyeonggi Tourism Information Center, Arrival Terminal Gate B2, Incheon International Airport, Tel: +82-32-741-7560
DMZ Tour, Seoul City, Chung-Gu, Sogong-dong, Lotte Hotel 2nd floor (Main Bldg), Tel: +82-2-771-5593~5, Fax: +82-2-771-5596.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|10-JUN-1978||discovered as it was revealed by a NK engineer.|
|17-OCT-1978||counter-tunnel reaches the tunnel of NK.|
This is really a strange thing, a tunnel crossing the border, built by the military to surprise and attack a country it is still at war with. North and South Korea signed a cease fire, but the war never actually ended. This tunnel was planned for a massive attack on South Korea and built under heavy security restrictions. They built a fake factory right at the border and synchronized explosions at the factory with blasting in the tunnel to avoid being detected.
The factory construction explained the construction noises so well, South Korea did not discover it until it was revealed by a North Korean refugee, an engineer who traded this information for his freedom. As the South Korean officials did not believe him at first, the first made a borehole at the point he said them. Water filled into the hole kept rushing out, which proved the existence of a hollow. Now they dug a tunnel, 1.5 m on 1.5 m with a slope of 30 degrees to intercept the tunnel. As this took some time, the people working on the tunnel had time to paint the tunnel black, by smearing it with coal, and then flee.
When South Korea confronted North Korea the started a sort of salami swindle. First they denied it existed. Then they said South Korea built it. Then they said they actually dug it, but it was for mining coal, you remember the coal on the walls? In order to make clear it was built as an attack to South Korea, they had to proof every bit. All the dynamite holes point to South Korea, so it was impossibly build it from the south. There is no coal and geologic examination shows no likelihood for it. Also, it's just a single tunnel pointing directly to Seoul.
Today the tunnel is a tourist sight from the south. It is entered on a tunnel trolley, with a very impressive station: the cars have no walls and the floor is exactly the same height as the platform, so it appeared like a "moving floor with car seats nailed to it". Visitors get helmets and enter the tunnel on the train, then there is a guided walking tour to the end of the tunnel. A wall with barbed wire and a surveillance camera is blocking the tunnel. A bright light is illuminating this spooky scenery of an underground borderline. The tour ends with a movie about the tunnel when the visitors are back outside.
As the name suggests, there are various such tunnels. Four of them were detected during the seventies, this is the only one open to the public. However, freedom has its restrictions, and Koreans are allowed only with a special permit. Foreigners are not allowed on an individual basis, it is necessary to book a DMZ day trip, which is offered by various tour operators. There is also a DMZ Transit Tour for visitors who are in transit through Incheon International Airport. It is cheaper and takes only half a day, and starts at the airport.