This story was published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald on 24 April 2013. I had travelled to Korea to research my book on the battle of  Kapyong, and the men who fought in it, during a time of ‘big’ tension between South Korea and North Korea, especially on the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ – the “Dee Em Zee”).I found the opposite – it was crowded with tourists.

I visited the Taepung Observation post  that overlooks the DMZ at Maryang San, where Australians fought their finest offensive battle of the Korean War in October 1951. I had been there before, in 2003, and took some ‘illegal’  photographs – they were much stricter on this visit. The smoke referred to in the story some from the land on the northern side of the Imjin River,  on the river flat below the peak of Maryang San – taken in 2003. The observatory has a small theatre where the battle and the border can be described – there’s also a diorama, but this was ‘classified’ in 2013.

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