Interesting Fact of the Day...
Kijongdong, North Korea
Grab a cup of afternoon tea. Today I'm going to take you to Kijongdong, North Korea.
But first, let me tell you about Daeseong-dong.
On the border between North and South Korea, on either side of the demilitarized zone, are two villages:
Kijongdong in the North.
Daesong-dong in the South.
To live in South Korea's Daesong-dong would be nerve-wracking. With no peace treaty ever signed, the two nations are still technically at war. Your backyard consists of a heavily armed border with the North Korean, South Korean, and U.S. militaries. The tension is so strong here you can feel it in the air.
To live in Daesong-dong you must be born here, or marry someone born here.
"But Tammy, why on Earth would anyone want to live here?" I bet you're thinking.
Well, the village is mostly inhabited by farmers. They are not only given huge plots of land on which to farm, they also receive a guaranteed income of approx. $100,000 US dollars. (equivalent)...and do not have to pay taxes. The school here receives more funding than any other. But, while the villagers are amongst the wealthiest in South Korea, they have strict rules to keep them safe, including the fact they must be home by 11:00 every night for a head count.
The village in North Korea--Kijongdong, would blast messages from loud speakers so the villagers in Daesong-dong could hear it:
"Come over to wonderful North Korea."
"Come to paradise."
"We are the land of milk and honey!"
North Korea would blast all sorts of propaganda, attempting to lure disgruntled villagers across the border.
It didn't work. Instead, the South Koreans erected walls of speakers, blasting K-Pop music that could be heard up to 24 km away...as well as world news not-available to North Koreans.
Furious, Kim Jong-Un threated to blow the speakers up.
Finally, in 2004, both sides agreed to stop with the speakers.
But...in 2016, they started back up again until 2018, when both sides had the historic meeting at the DMZ.
Now, if you look at the photo I took of Kijongdong, it appears to be quite a nice city for North Korea.
The flag pole is the fourth tallest in the world.
The buildings all look modern and clean.
How bad could it be?
Well, for starters...unlike Daesong-dong...it is not a real village.
Kijongdong is entirely a facade.
It's nothing more than a Hollywood set.
They know this because at night, soldiers noticed light filtering through the buildings.
There aren't even any floors in them.
To this day, Kijongdong is better known as...
That is the only reason it was built.
And there you have it. Your interesting fact of the day.