Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dorasan Station: The Last Stop Or The First Stop

The final stop of our USO DMZ tour was the Dorasan Railway Station.

We've just finished visiting the Third Tunnel of Aggression,
one of the tunnels North Koreans engineered for a possible invasion of the south as recently as the late 1970s. Many South Koreans fear that there are more tunnels yet undiscovered. Photography isn't allowed, but we walked down a long ramp built in recent years to accommodate tourists, and then crept several hundred yards along the tunnel, bumping our heads frequently in the process.

The South Korean government built the Dorasan Station only a few years ago. Their objective is that it become the first stop for North Korea, rather than the last stop for South Korea. Freight trains did run between North and South Korea for awhile but the North Koreans closed the border crossing in December 2008, after accusing the South Koreans of being "confrontational," perhaps for electing a more conservative government.

Considering all of the history, as well as what we read about the current leadership in North Korea, it may be some considerable time before this dream becomes a reality, and converts the station into something other than an extremely modern "white elephant."

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