Experience Magazine, December 2022
The gateway to South Korea’s border with North Korea looks like a carnival. Decades-old amusement rides — a merry-go-round, bumper cars, a Viking ship — greet visitors to Imjingak, a park just south of a restricted military area. A newer attraction stands across the parking lot: a “DMZ Peace Gondola,” an aerial tram with cars painted bright red, yellow, or white.
The gondola lifts passengers across the Imjin River, revealing a surreal landscape of playfulness and menace. Barbed-wire fences and military guard towers line both riverbanks. Below the northern gondola station, a large red triangular sign reads “MINE,” in English and Korean. Red, yellow, and blue pinwheels, twirling in the breeze behind the fence, spell out the English letters “DMZ.”