Saturday, August 9, 2008

Question of the Week and More on the DMZ

The question of the week was "What city, whose location is now the site of the Joint Security Area, was destroyed during the Korean War?"

The results are as follows:
  • Daeseong 1 (33%)
  • Panmunjom 2 (66%)
  • Gijeong 0 (0%)
  • Chuncheon 0 (0%)

The correct answer is Panmunjom. Daeseong and Gijeong are both villages within the DMZ. Chuncheon is just a city in South Korea. Thank you to everybody who voted.

Daeseong is located in South Korea. It is known as Freedom Village. The people who live there are from families who lived there before the Korean Conflict. Its residents do not have to pay taxes and men living there are except from the two-year military obligation. Farmers in Daeseong have about 17 acres of farmland, whereas farmers in the south have about 4 acres. Women can marry into the village but men cannot because it would exempt them from the military service. Farmers in Daeseong make about $82,000 tax-free. The residents have an 11:00 curfew.

Gijeong is in North Korea and is known as Propaganda Village. There are no residents there, only maintenance staff. It is Propaganda Village because for six to twelve hours a day, propaganda about Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il is played to anybody around, with the hopes that they will defect to North Korea.

There is a lot of competition between the two Koreas. South Korea built a flagpole near the Military Demarcation Line. That flagpole is 100 meters tall. North Korea decided to build a bigger one. That flagpole is 160 meters tall and is the biggest and tallest flagpole in the world. The South Korean flagpole looks puny by that North Korean flagpole. When Seoul hosted the 1988 Olympics, the Olympics Committee gave South Korea an Olympic flag. The Republic of Korea gave it to Daeseong to show off to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea since they decided not to participate in the Olympics that year.

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