ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on October 26th, 2007 at 5:53 am

Places in Korea: Daeseong-dong Freedom Village

» by in: DMZ,Travelogs

Here is an interesting documentary about Daeseong-dong village which lies on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone:

You will have to click on the link and visit the YouTube page since the film maker decided not to allow the video to be imbedded, but it is worth the time to check out.  Some interesting facts about Daeseong-dong which is more widely known as Freedom Village to GIs, is that the males in village are exempt from mandatory service, the people living there pay no taxes, and their primary occupation of rice farming allows the citizens to have an average of income of $100,000 a year.

There are a number of inconveniences by living in the village such as the curfew, restricted movements, and the fact you may be incinerated by North Korean artillery at anytime, but overall it isn’t to bad of a deal and many Koreans would love to live there.  However, residency in the village is strictly controlled and the residence have to live there for at least eight month out of the year in orde to keep their residency.

The village stands in stark contrast to Gijeong-dong or the more widely known term of Propaganda Village located across from Freedom Village in North Korea.  The 160 meter flag pole is the highest in the world and the flag is so big that when it rains the flag has to be taken down because the weight of the wet cloth would tear the flag from the pole.

Freedom Village also has a flag pole and for a few years the two adjacent villages had a competition of who would have the largest flag pole and North Korea obviously won since South Korea decided to quit trying to build a larger flag pole.  An urban legend often told about the North Korean flag pole is that Soldier of Fortune magazine is offering a $1 million dollar reward to anyone who can steal the flag.  I don’t know if it is true or not, but good luck to anyone trying that, I doubt they would make it across the minefield much less up that flagpole.

Anyway check out the video for an interesting look at this unique part part of the stand off between North and South Korea.

HT: DPRK Forum

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  • Michael
    2:58 pm on March 2nd, 2008 1

    One correction, this is the only town located in Korea; not in the South and not in the North; also, it's spelled "Tae Song Dong" or TSD village, not DSD.

  • Soju, Sake and Canadian Beer: October 2007
    7:27 am on June 6th, 2008 2

    [...] have to live there for at least eight month out of the year in orde to keep their residency.Read More on ROK Drop…Some great news for the male population of Korea^^Penthouse Coming to Korea!And in what must be the [...]

  • Chris
    10:39 pm on April 10th, 2009 3

    First of all, there are two major romanization systems for Korean; "Dae Song Dong" would actually be correct in one of them. Second, and more importantly, "Dae Song Dong" is actually closer to the original Korean pronunciation (Daeseong-dong).


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