As we drive along the Han River to and from the DMZ, our guide points out the barbed wire and guard towers that line the river, bulwarks against potential North Korean infiltrators. This is almost literally on the outskirts of Seoul and is the reality, or at least the perception, that South Koreans live with every day. Perhaps there is a national paranoia, but there is certainly a history of incidents over the past several decades.
Whew! The entire DMZ tour and the apparent necessity of fortifications make for a serious and even somber first day of our quick visit to Seoul. From here on, our trip was full of food, fun, and frivolity. Stay tuned.