Korean War Remains and Migratory Birds in Cheorwon
Prior to the division of Korea, Cheorwon was a sizable town. The junction of the Seoul-Wonsan and the Mt. Geumgangsan lines, it was a major transportation hub. After the division of Korea, however, the city---located north of the 38th parallel---fell under North Korean control. The worst came during the Korean War: as the southern point of the Iron Triangle (a major invasion route to Seoul), the city was wiped off the map by merciless shelling, mostly courtesy the Americans.
After the war, the city was never rebuilt, per se, although a “New” Cheorwon was built several kilometers away. Old Cheorwon is now rice paddies and hills---much of where the old town used to be, in fact, lies across the Civilian Control Line, a military district bounding the DMZ where entry is by permit only. For Korean history buffs, however, the paddies are dotted with several ruins and bombed-out buildings from the period that are well-worth seeing, including the iconic ruins of the local headquarters of the Workers Party of Korea, North Korea’s ruling party. Also in Cheorwon is the Seungil-gyo, sometimes called “Korea’s Bridge Over the River Kwai,” a scenic arch bridge that, depending on who you believe, was either started by the North Koreans and finished by the South Koreans, or started by the Japanese and finished by the Americans.
Other DMZ related sites we’ll visit are Cheorwon Peace Observatory, which offers sweeping views of the DMZ and North Korea; and the White Horse Hill Memorial, dedicated to one of the fiercest battles of the Korean War during which the strategic hill changed hands no fewer than 24 times.
The area along the DMZ is also one of Korea’s top spots for watching migratory birds. Come winter, some 110 species of birds---including several protected natural treasures---visit Cheorwon’s warm spring ponds. Bring your binoculars if you’ve got ‘em.
Cost of the tour is W39,000 won for members and W46,800 won for nonmembers. The bus will leave from the left side of the Yongsan Post Office (Subway, Line number 4, blue line, Sinyongsan Station #429, exit #1) at 9:00 a.m. and return will be 7:30 p.m.
PLEASE RESERVE SPACE ON THE Cheorwon trip on Saturday February 16 FOR THE FOLLOWING:
NAME_______________________________ MEMBER________ NONMEMBER_________
NAME_______________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
PHONE NO. (MOBILE) ____________________ (OFFICE / HOME) ____________________
☞ Please make the excursion payment before February 13, 2013 to the following account:
Shinhan Bank Account # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)