Thursday, November 8, 2007

A walk in the war zone 민간인 통제구역을 산행하다

It must be noted that we were not allowed to take photographs north of our location on Hyangno-bong. We understood and abided to this rule.

As an added bonus to our trek we were granted permission to walk further north from our end point into the off-limits militarized zone of South Korea.
We were able to walk 20km to the peak of Hyangno-bong and see the Baekdu-daegan stretch through the DMZ. This was a one time chance and we are very grateful to Korean Tourism Ambassador Dho Young-shim and her husband Dr.Kwon Jung-dal of the Korean Freedom League for enabling this to happen.
우리들의 멀고 고된 여행의 보너스로 우리산행이 끝나는 지점인 진부령보다 더 멀리 북쪽으로, 민간인 통제구역인 군사지역 안으로 추가 산행을 할 수 있도록 허가를 받았다. 우리들은 향로봉 정상까지 20km를 더 가서 DMZ(비무장지대)에 펼쳐진 백두대간을 볼 수 있었다. 감격적인 일이었다. 이런 좋은 기회가 다시 또 있을 수 있겠는가! 그래서 우리들은 이 산행을 할 수 있도록 주선해 주신 도영심 한국체육관광대사와 그녀의 남편인 한국자유총연맹 총재 권정달 박사에게 진심으로 감사한다.

Ready to go with our guides and Mr.Jeong at Jinbu-ryeong. Where our walk will end on Saturday

Roger with our good friends Mr.Jeong and Mrs.Lee at Jinbu-ryeong.
This lovely couple drove all the way north from Pusan city to visit us and were able to drive us to the military base at Jinbu-ryeong and see us off.
They have done so much for us throughout our journey and have been a constant source of help and support for which we would like to thank them.
진부령에서 Roger, 우리의 좋은 친구 정규환, 이인숙 부부와 함께. 이들은 우리를 만나기 위해 자동차로 부산에서 먼 길을 달려왔으며 진부령에 있는 군부대까지 우리를 자동차로 안내해 주었다. 그리고 우리의 여행을 위해 한결같이 도와주었다. 이들 부부에게 진심으로 감사한다.

Hyangno-ro, the road to Hyangno-bong

A memorial to fallen soldiers on the road to Hyangno-bong

Roger after being cleared by the guards - no weapons located.

We arrived at Hyangno-bong just in time for lunch with the soldiers

Outside the barracks at Hyangno-bong peak.
From left: The unknown soldier, Andrew, Cpt. Kim Cheong-il, Driver Lee Hyo-jun, Roger, Cpt. Heo Gyeong-rang, Lt. Kim Seong-hwan
향로봉의 군 막사 밖에서. 좌로부터: 이름을 모르는 젊은 병사, Andrew, 김청일 대위, 운전병 이효준, Roger, 허경랑 대위, 김성환 중령.

Hyangno-bong means "Incense burning peak". It is now a place of strategic military importance so it was surprising to find this modern altar and incense burner at its highest point, right below the observation tower
향로봉(香爐峰)은 ‘향을 피우는 봉우리' 라는 뜻이다. 이곳은 지금 군사상, 전략적으로 대단히 중요한 곳이다. 그러므로 이 높은 곳에서 현대식 제단과 향로를 본다는 것은 참으로 놀라운 일이었고 군부대에서 이런 주둔지의 전통적 의미를 살렸다는 것은 이채로운 것이었다.

East from Hyangno-bong obsevation post

Looking south from the observation post

Church for the soldiers on Hyangno-bong, methinks maybe the highest church in Korea...?

Soldiers on Hyangno-bong cleaning up after training


jae said...

Baekdu San is the head of the tiger where Baekdudegan is its spine. The PRC want to exploit our sacred mountain for their communist/capitalist tourism gain. To Koreans it means much more than a few extra million dollars coming in. The PRC should realize that the tiger in the han ban do is still split. But when the torso becomes one, it will take back its head.

The team said...

'woah' ease up a bit there tiger - like ya style though.