South Korea 1984

South Korea 1984

As I toured a U.S. Army outpost on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone, I stumbled upon a ceremony involving the re-enlistment of an American soldier. In the background, on the North Korean side of the DMZ, as it’s been known since its establishment in 1953 following the end of the Korean War, I could see the town of Kijong-dong. But, in fact, Kijong-dong is a fabricated place of concrete shells with a population of zero. Locals say the purpose of the illusionary town is two-fold: Lure South Korean defectors and portray a sense of prosperity in a country that most experts believe is one of the world’s poorest.

South Korea 1984

South Korea 1984

As I toured a U.S. Army outpost on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone, I stumbled upon a ceremony involving the re-enlistment of an American soldier. In the background, on the North Korean side of the DMZ, as it’s been known since its establishment in 1953 following the end of the Korean War, I could see the town of Kijong-dong. But, in fact, Kijong-dong is a fabricated place of concrete shells with a population of zero. Locals say the purpose of the illusionary town is two-fold: Lure South Korean defectors and portray a sense of prosperity in a country that most experts believe is one of the world’s poorest.