Iowan shares story of South Korean resolve
Have you ever been late for work because you have been stuck behind a slow moving tank? I have. A couple of times.
Eight months ago, I moved to the quiet, military town of Hwacheon in the Gangwon-do Province of South Korea to teach English in a local elementary school. Hwacheon is a small town with a population of 6,000 known for its nearby military base, and its annual ice fishing festival. Winding mountain roads, tree-covered hills, and the tranquil Bukhan River provide a picturesque landscape that attracts fishermen, bicyclists, and hikers.
However, Hwacheon has been thrust to the front line of an international crisis as the North Korean rhetoric continually threatens the South because it is located only nine miles from the Demilitarized Zone. The DMZ is 2.5 miles wide and stretches the width of the peninsula and remains the most fortified border in the world. Soldiers from the opposing countries have stared menacingly at each other for sixty years. The DMZ is still filled with hundreds of thousands of landmines, even after the 1953 cease fire of the Korean War.
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