As one of the ASEAN students in Korea, I took part in a workshop titled ‘Significance of Korean Unification for Peace and Prosperity of East Asia’which took place on 20-21 May 2016, focusing on the key issues to the significance of Korea’s unification. Field trips were also organised to the Inter-Korean Transit Office the Unification Observatory and Hwajinpo. The workshop took place in Goseong, Gangwon-do Province and was organised by the Korea Foundation(KF) and ASEAN Korea Centre.
Goseong is a county located in the Gangwon Province in South Korea, and takes about three and a half hours to get there by bus from Seoul.
The red line in the above figure representing the Demilitarized Military Zone (DMZ) serves as the demarcation between South and North Korea. Prior to the Korean War, Goseong was part of North Korea, however after the signing of the 1953 armistice, Goseong became part of South Korea.
I had the opportunity to view North Korea from two different countries and locations. First was in Yanji city in Yanbian, China at the Tumen River, and then more recently in Goseong via the Unification Observatory. (see the two locations above circled)
The Goseong Unification Observatory (고성 통일전망대) is the closest view you can get of North Korea from the South Korea side.
In the horizon, you can see Geumkangsan mountain (금강산) in North Korea. The island slightly above the middle ground serves as a demarcation between North and South Korea. On the left side of the photo, there is a road leading into North Korea from the South. On the right side of the photo is the bordering sea of the Korean Peninsula, Russia and Japan. It is called by different names by different countries. Japan knows it as ‘Sea of Japan’, South Korea calls it ‘East Sea’, whereas North Korea prefers the name ‘East Sea of Korea’.
The East Sea is one of the most breathtaking sights I’ve seen. The azure blue contrasted by the foliage of green, is definitely a sight to behold.