The DMZ to become a protected wildlife zone… again

From the Ministry of Environment via Scientific American:

I guess the DMZ, the four kilometre wide and 250 kilometre long area between North and South Korea, appears in many ways to be an excellent place for the preservation of wildlife.  It is already home to many animals that are otherwise locally extinct and it is by definition a no-man’s land.

As the joke goes, there are a lot of three-legged animals there that are ‘protected’.  Hmm, I wonder if the local wildlife has evolved the ability to sniff out the landmines.

I have two concerns, one structural and one, I don’t know, sociological.  First, although the DMZ is definitely long enough, I am concerned about it’s depth.  Four km isn’t that far for some of the larger animals that are rumored to live there.

Second, encouraging wildlife there may well encourage hunting by starving North Korean soldiers.  The DMZ is nearly empty of human life but is also the focus of huge military and political forces.  It is a carefully balanced level.

My point here is that the Koreas should not forget or cover up what the DMZ really stands for.  It was created and lives today solely due to war.  It is not a symbol of peace nor of animal protection. My opinion is unchanged. “The DMZ is a pretty bandaid hiding a hideous wound and we are admiring the bandaid.”


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