Amazingly, a visit down a dark history of war claims first place as one of my favorite things in Seoul, thus far. Not because of the content, but because of the respect for the history, presentation, and the free ability to acquire knowledge about the country. I have yet to visit a museum in Seoul that cost money. When in the U.S, it costs 10-20 bucks to visit most museums.
It starts off with this grand structure and monument of history coupled with flags. The flags are representations of country allies and participants in the Korean War. They flutter graciously amongst the courtyard upon my arrival.
At first entry into the museum, you can immediately feel the solemn and respect for the war casualties. Then I look up, to see a light of hope, amazing architecture, and ceiling color.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Cheonggyecheon River X Korea’s Independence, I stated that it wasn’t until August 15, 1945 that Korea its independence from Japan.
That spiraled into Korea having a war within itself:
Communism (north) VS liberalism (south).
It was in 1950 that the Korean War began. That means that just less than 70 years ago, over 10 countries in the United Nations participated in a war to help South Korea gain its freedom from the communist regime.
China and Russia participated in assisting North Korea, while other countries provided food, supplies, and assistance for the South.
Even civilians participated in the war. Today, in South Korea every man must serve 2 years in the military.
Beginning in Busan, and moving upward, little by little the south gained territories from the north.
With the help of the UN, the political parties of North Korea and South Korea signed a treaty officially separating them into the north and south we see today. The line drawn is called the 38th parallel.
No one is allowed into or out of North Korea. It is controlled by the government, and from what I heard and have seen, it’s a horrible place to live. The people are very poor and the conditions are very bad. A friend of our supervisor escaped from the country and said it was like “hell.” He also lost his family because of it. They kill and jail citizens with little to no reasoning and one must obey and worship the leader. If you escape the country they will kill your family.
This was the biggest museum I had even seen; it’s a must see if you plan to visit Seoul.
Marlie and I were grateful to be able to learn about the formation of South Korea.