Field Trip to the DMZ

April 29, 2009

When I first came to Korea during the summer of 2006, although I was a citizen of South Korea, I didn’t really know

Military Demarcation Line marker on the south side of the Bridge of No Return.

Military Demarcation Line marker on the south side of the Bridge of No Return.

 what was going on between North Korea and South Korea, except that they had a big war in the past and have been separated for quite sometime. I did  not know people would escape North Korea to come here. Now I’ve been here for almost three years now and I have a better understanding of what goes on.

This video was about a 20 year old girl that escaped from North Korea. Her name is Haejung, although it is not real because she doesn’t want the North Korean government to harm her family, who all still reside in North Korea. Haejung attends Hangyeore High School, a special boarding school that helps children from North Korea to adapt to a new style of life in South Korea. These children have no parents for guidance and have to grow up on their own. Teachers live in the school to point these children in the right direction and help them live a successful life. These students eat, live, sleep, and study in this school. It is basically their home because they have no where else to go.

U.S. and Korean soldiers monitor the Korean Demilitarized Zone

U.S. and Korean soldiers monitor the Korean Demilitarized Zone

These children go on annual trips to the DMZ to “visit” their parents and siblings that are still stuck in North Korea. For me, going to the DMZ is just another trip to see more of South Korea. However, to these children, this trip is just a fraction of revisiting their old homes. In the video, I remember them screaming to their parents that they miss them and want to see them. I was very touched by this part of the video. Screaming their hearts out and just maybe, their family members can hear his/her voice and letting them know that he/she is safe. I wonder how it feels for them to have a chance at improving their lives while their family members are still trapped in North Korea. I admire the kids that are able to go through this kind of suffering at such a young age.

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