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Located in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas, Dorasan Station opened in 2002 and, depending on how one looks at it, is either the last stop by train in South Korea, or the first stop into North Korea from the south. Although the tracks are connected, the communist regime to the north doesn’t allow trains to pass through, so the $40 million station sits unused.
Dorasan Station sits just over the South Korean side of the border in one of the most dangerous and militarized regions on the planet — the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea. But you wouldn’t know it from looking at the immaculately maintained station, which serves as a beacon of hope for reunification on the Korean peninsula. The recent death of North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il briefly renewed hope that it might be possible, but statements made recently by the repressive regime and its new ruler, Kim Jong Un, have deflated those hopes.
A sign in the lobby reads, “Not the last station from the South, But the first station toward the North.”
In 2000, representatives from both the South and North Korean governments agreed to link the two countries at the Gyeongui Railroad Line. The mines and barbed wire were removed and Dorasan Station opened on the South Korean side about two years later.
On June 14, 2003, the tracks were connected at the Military Demarcation Line in the DMZ. For a short time, limited freight flowed back and forth from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a place just over the line on the North Korean side of the border where female North Koreans are allowed to work for South Korean companies away from the rest of the populace, but the ever-fluctuating tensions and posturing saw a quick end to that.
Now the station is a dead end.
(MATTHEW M. BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES)
These South Korean military guards at Dorasan look stern and remain impassive but readily pose for photos with smiling tourists.
Managed to catch them on their own between souvenir photos with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH1 point & shoot on 26th October 2012.
I was tempted to call the image “Clone Wars” as even their spectacles were identical uniform issue.
Processing including selective colouring in PSE10.