“WELCOME TO THE JSA!” It’s the exclamation mark combined with the scrolling LED sign that encapsulate the deadly farce. Some 160,000 tourists annually visit the Joint Security Area, the gateway between North and South Korea that almost never opens, one of the most dangerous places on earth and conversely among the safest.
Similarly, the South Koreans Crikey met on a recent study tour. This is a nation still at war, alert if not alarmed. Everyone wants to talk about the “reunification issue” — and opinions are sharply divided on a solution — but it’s front of mind like traffic for Sydneysiders and coffee for Melburnians: conversation without urgency.