A Journey through North Korea
Did you know that, besides a wide range of historical and cultural attractions, the DPRK also offers its visitors the chance to explore its stunning natural beauty ? The mountainous areas of Mount Kumgang and Mount Myohyang are second to none in terms of hiking and camping opportunities, where visitors can spend day after day trekking along trails that accost mountain streams, rock pools and waterfalls. Moreover, few travel experiences match the surreal feeling that characterizes a tour of the Demilitarized Zone and Panmunjom, the Truce Village on the border between North Korea and South Korea. For most of the world, the Cold War belongs to the history books. On the Korean peninsula, the Cold War continues to rage. Watching the military stand-off between soldiers from both sides, who often stand at less than a metre apart across a small slab of concrete, is a chilling and anachronistic experience. Why is this still being allowed to happen, deep into the 21st century ? Surely, something needs to be done in order to rectify this scar on humanity’s record. “But what can be done ?”, you will ask. In my humble opinion, the only answer is ‘engagement’. Yes, that’s right. The political tactics of ‘non-engagement’, ‘isolation’ and ‘sanctions’ do not work, that much is clear. They have brought no gains to either side, nor to humanity as a whole. Looking for a more humane way of resolving this historical conflict, a way that engages the citizens of the DPRK as much as it engages the citizens of the rest of the world, interpersonal engagement provides us with the opportunity to share our cultural and personal similarities and differences. One of the most important things that the visitor to North Korea will realize is that the people there are much more like us than we ever thought. An excellent place to find this out is on the Pyongyang Golf Course.