A Brief Demonstration of Our Response to This Weekend’s Coverage


[via Comics Alliance]

So I went to North Korea today…

Seriously!! How many times in your life do you get to write that?

Five of my colleagues and I took the USO tour to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates North Korea from the Republic of Korea. It was an amazing, unforgettable experience. I’d expected that there would be guard shacks and razor wire, but it was far more than that. It’s actually a series of buildings, a US-Korea military base, a small village of about 200 people, and the Joint Security Area guarded by Korean and North Korean soldiers.


At one point, the US soldier guiding our tour led us into a large, sky blue conference room in the JSA. On one side was Korean territory and the other was North Korean. I was on the North Korean side and visited the country for about three and a half minutes. No gift shop, but it’s still going on my list of countries that I’ve visited! At the end of the conference room, a simple blue door–like something out of a children’s fable–leads to North Korea proper (as shown in the wiki photo of the ROK guard in front of the door). It was so strange and surreal. I’d expected a large, grand monument to the transfer place between two violently divided countries, with two completely different and competing political and economic systems.

The DMZ itself has largely returned to nature and has amazing natural beauty and several rare bird species (best enjoyed from afar–I don’t think they were joking about the tons of landmines).

Tomorrow (Sunday) I’ll be heading back to the US. It’s been an incredible two weeks in Japan and Korea. I’ve had limited to no internet access, so it’s been additionally weird getting small snippets of info from the US in the past (J & K are 16 hours in the future from PST).

Hope all ya’ll Stinquerinos are doing well!


I did the same tour long ago when I visited Korea for the first time long long ago. We were told no flash photography or annoying NK guards unless you wanted an NK sniper to shot you in the head.

When I was there at the Korean Kamp for Wayward and Lazy Not Real Korea Kids in 1985, our councilors took on us the ROK VIP(?) tour where they actually took us down to an NK infiltration tunnel. I knew they were serious when we saw the chem warfare suits and red tipped (live) ammo.

Hope you enjoyed your time in the Far East.

First: @nojo fails to properly mark the day — the tenth anniversary of The September 10th Mentality. We should never forget… what, exactly? (I wasn’t paying attention for a decade, there. Sorry.)

@Andrew: if I remember right, there are ROK / US guards in the conference rooms that will literally hold on to each other to ensure that North Korean guards will not bust in and take them away. One word for that: HOTT.

Spiderpig has a rival, and I am diligently ignoring all “anniversary” coverage.

@Walking Still: Same here, although I’ve spent the past few days wondering why we celebrate anniversaries. I’m not sure. I don’t know why marking time is so important.

@JNOV: It’s another peg to sell more lunch boxes.

@Dodgerblue: Looks like an ad for Strategic Air Command. Did you get a pamphlet from Curtis LeMay advising you on the inevitability of nuclear weapons attacks by the USSR, necessitating a first strike?

@FlyingChainSaw: No, but we did “drop drills” in grade school to prepare us for a nuclear bomb attack, as though the flimsy windows and wooden desks would hold back the blast and radiation.

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