A theoretical study on the landscape of the Korean DMZ and its spatial significance
ABSTRACT Recently, the two Koreas are also seeking new relations. This study pays attention to the fact that these domestic and international changes provide an opportunity to expand research on the DMZ in the Korean Peninsula, and has approached the space of the DMZ as a landscape from a more specific and realistic perspective. First, the Cold War landscape of the Korean DMZ has historical and political significance in that it is the last remaining site in the history of the Cold War. It is also as a barrier that divides North and South Korea, and a symbolic location for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. Second, the ecological landscape of the DMZ suggests that it has the potential to function as a core ecological axis in the Korean Peninsula due to its natural attributes. Lastly, the cultural significance of the DMZ as a symbolic space representing the people’s aspirations for peace is being transformed through various cultural and educational programs. This paper confirms that the space of the Korean DMZ is gradually changing its significance from a Cold War landscape to a landscape of cultural symbols representing people’s wish for peace.
KEYWORDS: DMZ; Cold War landscape; ecological landscape; cultural landscape; spatial significance; Boundary Area
Notes on contributor
Eun-hye Choung is an Assistant Professor at KU Academy of Mobility Humanities, Konkuk University. She has a Ph.D. in Geography from Kyunghee University. Her areas of interest include national geography, tourism geography, and cultural geography. In general, her area of expertise is in human geography, and she has taught more than 30 subjects in this field in Namseoul University, Sungshin Women’s University, Dongkuk University, Sangmyung University, and Kyunghee University. Her research is particularly focused on landscape studies related to these areas. She has published articles in Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism research, International Journal of Diaspora & Cultural Criticism, and Journal of the Korean Urban Geographical Society, among others. She has published books including 지리학자의 공간읽기: 인간과 역사를 담은 도시와 건축 (Geographer’s Reading of Space: Cities and Architectures Reflecting Humans and Histories, 2018), 답사 소확행 (The Little Joy of Exploration, 2019), and 지리학자의 국토읽기 (Geographer’s Reading of Korean Territory, 2018). ORCID: 0000-0002-6528-6981.