Kelly Smith Tunney
by Kelly Smith Tunney, Chief of Bureau, AP Seoul
From a southern guardpost high on a ridge, the rugged outline of the Demilitarized Zone stretches out like a great nature preserve, a swath of underbrush, wild animals, birds, berries and untamed grasses which dips along ridges and mountain valleys from sea to sea.
At night, it is clear enough to see the stars. Soldiers in flak vests and helmets move out on patrol along the barbed wire barriers with M-16 automatic rifles at the ready, hunting knives dangling from their belts. Sound jars the silence: the explosion of a mine, perhaps tripped by a rabbit, a round of fire (a weapon dropped?). Blasts of propaganda from loudspeakers on the northern side echo in the distance.
Four decades after the armistice which ended the Korean War, this two-and-a-half-mile-wide band of no-man's land dividing the peninsula has changed little, a sobering testament to continued tension in the last
Above: All neat and tidy. GIs watch for North Korean troop activity from a security trench that winds its way through hills of the Demilitarized Zone.