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Explore Korea’s demilitarized zone through its history, nature, and art

A photo collage of soldiers, an otter, a flower, and artwork about Korea’s demilitarized zone (DMZ)

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, the Korean government is launching several campaigns to raise global awareness of veterans’ stories and the country’s growth since. One area of focus is Korea’s demilitarized zone (DMZ), a strip of land running across the Korean peninsula. Though the DMZ is often referred to as a symbol of the Korean War and its division, it stands for much more than that.

By collaborating with nine prominent Korean institutions for content curation— as well as support from Google Arts & Culture— we are proudly launching a special DMZ project for the rest of the world to explore its history, incredible nature and art.

Learn about the history of the DMZ.

Explore dozens of stories about key events during the Korean War, student volunteer forces, the hardships of soldiers from the United Nations and other countries, or the origins of a local dish created during the war. These complex stories reveal just how much history exists in this area. To top it off, you can take a virtual tour to explore the historical sites of the Korean War in both the DMZ border area and the provisional capital of Busan.

Black and white photo of a group of student soldiers in uniform, looking at the camera

Explore the natural beauties of the DMZ border.

Did you know that the DMZ and DMZ border area are home to plants and animals completely unique to Korea? The flora and fauna of the DMZ area — particularly endangered species — show another side of the DMZ’s peace and beauty. Experience these special creatures (like the otter and endangered black star minnow) in 3D and augmented reality. Or, take a virtual trek on the Punchbowl forest trail, the remote northmost trail in South Korea, and Yongneup, a rare high moor wetland and treasure trove of biodiversity. You’ll even hear the diverse sounds of the nature while you’re taking the virtual tour with Street View.

A close up photo of purple flowers and green, leafy plants against the backdrop of a blue sky.

Discover the DMZ through local artists’ eyes.

Seoul-based international curator Sunjung Kim takes us to explore the DMZ from an artist’s point of view, sharing contemporary art inspired by the area. She began a contemporary art project called the REAL DMZ PROJECT and has been running it for more than a decade, working with scholars and artists who studied the social impact of the DMZ to create experimental artwork. Through this collection, people can take a glimpse into the Korean people’s experiences of the DMZ, and more importantly, their imagination for the future.

A red and white abstract painting of clouds, mountains, crags, and structures.

This digital hub was a collective effort from nine partner institutions including: Center for Anthropocene Studies, KAIST, DMZ Botanic Garden of the Korea National Arboretum, DMZ Museum, National Institute of Ecology, Nakdongang National Institute of Biological Resource, Provisional Capital Memorial Hall, REAL DMZ PROJECT, United Nation Peace Memorial Hall, and War Memorial of Korea.

We hope these online resources will help people around the world learn more about the history, culture, and art of the DMZ. Visit the project on Google Arts & Culture website or download the Google Arts & Culture’s Android or iOS app.

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