WHITE-NAPED CRANE Migratory Bird
Kim, Ji Hye
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The Korean peninsula has been cut in two since 1945 by politics and war and, in July 1953, truce was made, ending the Korean War creating the division that roughly follows the 38th parallel, the 160 – mile long buffer zone known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) absorb territory on both sides of the cease – fire line as it exited at the end of the Korean War (1950-1953). Although the DMZ prevents military conflict between the two Koreas for over six decades, it is clear that the two Koreas are in a state of war. The DMZ is approximately 160 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. Despite its name, the Demilitarized Zone is currently the most heavily militarized border in the world. The political division of the Korean peninsula has given about 55 percent of the land mass to North Korea and South Korea 45 percent. Upon the division what was informally known as North Korea became Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and South Korea, Republic of Korea. The division makes little sense to the Korean people, who have existed as a homogeneous group sharing blood kinship and a single language since the beginning. The Korean people have endured a history of hardship and trial. The Korean people have experienced over 936 foreign invasions throughout their history and they have overcame all, making this state of war among the Koreans a difficult to accept. Koreans have always viewed this division as a temporary condition and dreamt of reconciliation. For this thesis, dissolving of the 38th parallel was considered but the affect on the Korean people is speculative and the dialogue became about where this would leave the Koreans. As I began to entertain this idea, it became critical for me to look to the past of what links us together, the commonalities. The thesis is not to suggest a solution, rather explore the possibilities through resurfacing Korean conditions. The intention is not to force either understanding the reality or fantasy as means of solving, but as means to bring hopes that Koreans can simply begin to look towards one and another.
- Architecture