1, 207, 0, 8, 46, 99.8, 80A story of Daeseong-dong Village
A story of Daeseong-dong Village in seven numbers, the village at the heart of DMZ, the land of peace and life
Access to Daeseong-dong Village has been blocked for five decades. Thus, the villagers live in isolation.
Here is a story of Daeseong-dong Village, in seven numbers, which is dedicated to the wish for the peace and unification of Korea even amid challenges.
a single village in the DMZ
DMZ, the strictly restricted area. Do you know that people live there? In July 1953, when the South-North Korea armistice agreement was signed, the South and North agreed to maintain one village each in the DMZ, so Daeseong-dong Village and Gijeong-dong Village were created in the south and north of DMZ, respectively.
As of April 2015,
207 people and 49 households live there.
- Daeseong-dong Village is inhabited by a total of 49 households and 207 people. Its total area covers 4,957,000 m2 (settlements - 2.6%, and agricultural land - 97.4%).
- The residents raise rice, soy beans, chili, etc. for their livelihood and run agricultural farms on a total of 948 plots (or 4,800,000 m2).
The village is now jointly preparing the businesses of soy-sauce-marinated horseshoe crab and fast-fermented bean paste processing, with the factory already constructed.
Daeseong-dong villagers are exempted from the duties of tax payment and military service.
- Daeseong-dong Village is controlled by the Commander-in-chief of the UN Armed Forces Command, in accordance with Article 10 of the Armistice Agreement. Thus, the village’s civil administration affairs and relief work are under the responsibility of the Supreme Commander of the UN Armed Forces Command, and under the jurisdiction of the Commander-in-chief of the UN Armed Forces Command (concurrently, the ROK-US Combined Forces Command), which are all under the control of the UN.
- Therefore, the villagers are exempted from the duties of tax payment and military service, among South Koreans’ four duties.
- To prevent abuse of the villagers’ exemption from military duty, males can ask females from outside the village to marry them, but females are banned from asking males from outside who are yet to fulfill their military duty to marry them.
Daeseong-dong villagers must live in the village
for over eight months.
- Strict screening procedures are applied in reviewing the qualifications for residence in Daeseong-dong, due to which there is little difference in the number of the residents between now and 60 years ago.
- Also, residents who do not stay in the village for over eight months forfeit their villager qualification, except if they have to leave the village for middle or high school education.
At 7 p.m., the civil surveillance company inspects each household to check the number of residents, and a curfew is imposed from midnight until 5 a.m. People from outside are allowed to access the village from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Daeseong-dong Elementary School has held
46 graduation ceremonies
from 1967 to February 2015.
Daeseong-dong Elementary School is the unique education facility in Daeseong-dong Village. The school began to be run autonomously by villagers in 1954, after the Korean War. On May 8, 1968, the school was officially approved and opened. In 1967, the first graduation ceremony was held, followed by 45 graduation ceremonies until February 2014, which have produced many students. In 2014, with the support of KT, Giga School was opened. It offers the smart Giga class and the Unlimited Imagination Class, designed for the Internet of Things creative education.
Daeseong-dong Village boasts a 99.8m-high national flagpole.
- Next to Daeseong-dong Village’s civil surveillance office is South Korea’s tallest national flag pole. The flagpole is 99.80 m tall, 20 cm short of 100 m, and a huge Korean national flag, sized 19 m x 12 m, flies to fit the high flagpole.
- The flagpole symbolizes the tragedy of the divided Korea and is set so high that it can be seen from North Korea.
- Beyond the military demarcation line, North Korea’s flag in Gijeong-dong is set to face the Daeseong-dong national flag in South Korea, and its flagpole was originally some 80 m high, which is said to have been replaced by a 165m North Korean flag. As such, the South and the North bare their pride even in the height of their flagpole.
Buildings in Daeseong-dong
were mostly constructed
in the 1980s.
Daeseong-dong Village began to be created in 1959, and its construction was completed through its Total Development Plan 1 (1972) and Total Development Plan 2 (1979-80). The current inhabited buildings in the village were mostly constructed then. The village was constructed to face the northern direction, instead of the usual southern direction, to publicize the South regime to the North. Due to this, the residents have less sunshine and have to use electric heating floors even at sizzling summer nights to get a sound sleep. Moreover, the buildings in the village are now dilapidated, requiring urgent repair, but Daeseong-dong Village did not register its buildings with the building Register at their construction time, due to which the residents have no right to possess and repair their houses.
July 23, 2015
December 3, 2016
“The people who have returned to their home village: the freedom village Daeseong-dong in the DMZ, Gyeonggi-do,” (2014), Paju, Gyeonggi-do