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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: North Korea's Fake Town in the DMZ

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This video was made possible by Skillshare. Learn for free for two months by being one

of the first 500 to sign up at Alright, so, for clarification, this is the

DMZ and this is the DMVthe department of motor vehicles for non-Americansand theyre

totally different things. One is a scary, dangerous place where one can see cold, heartless

people on the other side and the other is the area of land separating the Korean Peninsula.

On a vaguely related note, remember World War Two? Imperial Japan had Korea but then

the US dropped a little boy and fat man over Japan so at least the imperial part of Japan

wasnt a thing anymore and the US and USSR swooped in and took hold of different parts

of Korea. Basically, the USSR held this part, the US held this part and the two countrys

troops eventually left but the south was still American influenced and the north was still

Soviet influenced and Stalin got all Stalin-y so two sides got to warring. Territory changed

hands a bunch of times but despite their old college try the two countries ended up looking

pretty much exactly the same as beforeminus the couple million dead people, of course.

But at least they ended up with thisthe demilitarized zone. This 2.5 mile, 4 kilometer

wide buffer zone straddles the border between North Korea, the country run with the level

of expertise of a high school drama club, and South Korea, the country that I will say

nothing but nice things about since they actually have internet access. There are plenty of

military members within the Korean DMZ but theyre restricted both in number and what

they can do so its more of a somewhat militarized zone. To the south of the DMZ, though, are

mostly loads of South Korean and American troops sitting around to make sure the northerners

dont pull a fast one and pop over the border for some recreational Sunday war while to

the north of it is somewhere between a zillion and a bajillion troops and a full metric ton

of artillery guns pointed at the south. Just south of the Joint Security Area, the bit

you probably most recognize from the news, is the main touristy part of the DMZthats

right, the touristy part. One of the most fortified borders in the world between two

countrys still technically at war is a tourist destination. Just read the comments

are Im sure youll see plenty from people who have been exactly here. Theres even

this cute little train that takes people to the war zone.

While the DMZ is largely devoid of humans, two villages were allowed to remain under

the terms of the armistice agreementDaeseong-dong in the south and Kijŏng-dong in the north.

Daeseong-dong is a largely normal village albeit with a heavy military presence given

its location. A small quirk of the town is that, in an effort to keep people there despite

the very real threat of being kidnapped by the north, residents pay no taxes and dont

have mandatory military service like other South Koreans. In Daeseong-dong, back about

40 years ago, the South Korean government built this rather nice 323 foot, 98 meter

flagpole large enough to be seen by the north. As one does, The North Korean government responded

by building this 525 foot, 160 meter flagpole in their beautiful town of Kijŏng-dong.

Kijŏng-dong has hundred of families, schools from nursery to high school, even a hospital,

but wait. Enhance, enhance, enhance! Where are the windows? You can see window panes,

but no glass. And why cant you see anything inside? This makes about as much since as,

the for the fact it was to be for that wood can.” And why in this village of supposedly

hundreds or thousands can you only see three people outside? And if an airplane wore pants

would it be like this or like this? This super-real North Korean town is looking awfully... fake.

You see, in addition to the real technical war going on, theres also been for the

past few decades a propaganda war by each country trying to get the citizens of the

other country to defect. Theyve both employed a variety of techniques including blasting

propaganda messages from loudspeaker over the border and launching balloons carrying

leaflets. Theyve stopped and started these propaganda campaigns numerous times as relations

have warmed and cooled, including a stop since May, 2018, but on a longer term basis both

countrys have been somewhat successful in convincing those from the other country

to sneak over the borderNorth Korea included. This fake town that can clearly be seen from

tourist viewing platforms and military outposts is just one of the DPRKs propaganda techniques.

In the only place where most foreigners can see the secretive country with their own eyes,

theyre presenting themselves in the best way they think they can. Unfortunately they

failed to consider that a: telescopes exist, and that b: towns are supposed to have people

in them. The only people you see are caretakers that some say are just North Korean military

members in plainclothes who sweep the streets, tend the fields, and turn the lights off and

on. The South has essentially concluded at this point that Kijŏng-dongs only real

residents are a few DPRK soldiers who man the border security installations around the

town. Having fake buildings to keep up appearances is cool and all if youre, like, Disneyworld,

but when youre a country with millions starving its not a good look so if you

become a maniacal dictator, dont do this. If you become a maniacal dictator, you should,

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The Description of North Korea's Fake Town in the DMZ