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06/08/2010

North Korea: Peering across the DMZ

In 1953 the Korean War came to a conclusion after more than three years of fighting that killed or wounded millions of civilians and soldiers. To this day, the two Koreas are separated by a Demilitarized Zone about 4 kilometers across.

North Korea remains one of the most isolated countries in the world and keeps most foreigners, and especially journalists, out.

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This combo picture shows a file picture of a North Korean soldier wearing a cap (L) on May 26, 2010, and a picture of a North Korean soldier (R) keeping watch over the South side as he wears a battle helmet on June 2, 2010 at the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone separating the two Koreas on June 2, 2010.  Tensions have risen in Korea since Seoul publicly accused Pyongyang of torpedoing one of its warships on March 26 with the loss of 46 lives. An international investigation backed Seoul's claim.         AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE / KIM JAE-HWAN / FILES

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Visitors take in a panoramic recreation of the Korean War displayed at the Museum of the War to resist US aggression and Aid Korea in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Beijing has yet to blame North Korea or support any potential U.N. action against its longtime ally after the sinking of a South Korean warship. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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A North Korean soldier keeps watch over South Korea while wearing a battle helmet at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul June 2, 2010. South Koreans voted in regional elections on Wednesday, a barometer of support for conservative President Lee Myung-bak as he tries to push through business-friendly reforms, with the North Korea standoff a key campaign issue while liberal oppositions has blamed Lee for provoking tension between two Koreas and not keeping his presidential election promises.   REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)


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A reporter speaks for a news report on technically the North Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom as a South Korean soldier stands guard in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul June 2, 2010. South Koreans voted in regional elections on Wednesday, a barometer of support for conservative President Lee Myung-bak as he tries to push through business-friendly reforms, with the North Korea standoff a key campaign issue while liberal oppositions has blamed Lee for provoking tension between two Koreas and not keeping his presidential election promises.     REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won


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North Korean residents rest on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province, Friday, May 28, 2010. China, North Korea's main ally, has refrained from committing to Security Council action over North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean warship in March.  Beijing's apparent tolerance of North Korean provocations is predicated on its overweening aversion to any steps that could seriously destabilize the regime in Pyongyang and bring chaos and refugees to its northeastern border. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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A North Korean soldier gestures to a North Korean man on the outskirts of Sinuiju in North Korea as seen from the China-North Korean border near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province, Monday, May 31, 2010.  Russian experts arrived in South Korea on Monday to review findings of an investigation that blamed North Korea for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, while thousands of South Korean troops practiced fending off an attack from the North near the rivals' tense border. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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A South Korean Army soldier points to North Korea at an observation post in the border village of Panmunjom, (DMZ), that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 2, 2010. The deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on North Korea overshadowed the south's crucial local elections Wednesday that were seen as a gauge of public sentiment toward the pro-American president's handling of the security crisis. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)


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North Korean soldiers rest in the shade on the banks of Yalu River, that divides China and North Korea, in Sinuiju in North Korea as they are photographed from Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.  Beijing has yet to blame North Korea or support any potential U.N. action against its longtime ally after the sinking of a South Korean warship. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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North Koreans stand on the upper deck of a boat cruising along the Yalu River that divides China and North Korea near the Chinese border town of  Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.  Beijing has yet to blame North Korea or support any potential U.N. action against its longtime ally after the sinking of a South Korean warship. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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A North Korean man waves near a young girl on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Monday, May 31, 2010.  China held back from joining the chorus of nations condemning North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship, making quick international sanctions unlikely but perhaps buying time while China quietly leans on its unpredictable, nuclear-armed neighbor. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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North Korean residents pull a boat to the remnants of a floating bridge that Chinese troops used to cross into North Korea during the Korean war on the outskirts of Sinuiju in North Korea seen from the Chinese border town of Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Monday, May 31, 2010.  China held back from joining the chorus of nations condemning North Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship, making quick international sanctions unlikely but perhaps buying time while China quietly leans on its unpredictable, nuclear-armed neighbor. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)



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North Korean soldiers cruise on a speed boat along the Yalu River that divides China and North Korea near the Chinese border town of  Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.  Beijing has yet to blame North Korea or support any potential U.N. action against its longtime ally after the sinking of a South Korean warship. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)


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North Korea soccer coach Kim Jong-hun, left, during their arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Tuesday June 1, 2010. North Korea arrived for the upcoming World Cup, which gets underway on June 11,  2010. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


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A South Korean Army soldier stands guard at the border village of Panmunjom, (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 2, 2010. The deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on North Korea overshadowed the south's crucial local elections Wednesday that were seen as a gauge of public sentiment toward the pro-American president's handling of the security crisis. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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