School on the border of North Korea


Children look at a soldier as they stand in a line to take a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. In 2008, facing extinction as the surrounding population dwindled, the school opened its doors to South Korean children living outside the DMZ. At the same time, the U.S.-led United Nations command headquarters began sending soldiers there to teach English twice a week. School on the border of North Korea School on the border of North Korea rtst9ajIt was called “the scariest place on Earth” in 1993.REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

  • Twenty-nine students attend school in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
  • American troops monitor the situation to the North and teach English to the students.
  • Less than 100 miles away from the border lies 70% of North Korea’s soldiers.

In a small buffer zone on the southern side of the border that separates North and South Korea resides Daesungdong Elementary School.

The school is located in Taesung Freedom Village, a settlement in the Korean peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ was created in 1951 for peace talks during the Korean War, and is a small area of just a little over a mile on either side of the border.

While the conflict stopped after an armistice was signed in 1953, a peace treaty was never signed, which means the two countries are technically still at war.

That tenuous situation led President Bill Clinton to call the DMZ “the scariest place on Earth” when he visited in 1993.

Reuters captured the daily life of students at Daesungdong Elementary School in a photo package called “Learning English in the Korean DMZ’s Freedom Village.”

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