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MOC: Joint Security Area - North/South Korea


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#1 Dreamweb

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:07 PM

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It's a rather little MOC I made here, but I admit it might be found controversial by some users. First of all, I used both LEGO and clone brand bricks. I did it on purpose. So if a moderator decides to move this to Community, I see no problem with that. Also, the theme is pretty serious. But I believe that sometimes you need to be controversial in order to send the desired message, so I'll proceed anyway.

This is my recreation of the real-life place located on the border between North Korea and South Korea - the two countries which technically still remain at war. It is considered one of the most dangerous and also, IMO, weirdest places on Earth. The Joint Security Area, lying within an ex-village of Panmunjom, is the only point along the otherwise virtually impenetrable border, where soldiers of the two opposite armies actually stand face-to-face and are literally a few meters away from each other.

Some real-life photos first:

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The actual border between the two countries is marked by a concrete slab running between the buildings:

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I used clone brand bricks for the ground on the North Korean side. I also used clone brand minifigs for North Korean soldiers. It was a deliberate action and I don't mean to offend anyone by this. My sole purpose was to emphasize the difference between the democratic south and the communist north, which are indeed two completely different worlds. I used it as means of showing the weight of this place to the viewer in a direct, perhaps even a bit shocking way if you will.

So there it is, South Korea on the left, North Korea on the right:

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When the North Korean soldiers guard their side of the border, they stand like this:

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The two soldiers right next to the concrete slab watch each other so that neither of them defects to the south. The third soldier makes sure that no one else approaches the border.

On the other side both South Korean and US soldiers are present. South Korean soldiers always wear sunglasses in order to look more intimidating to the North Koreans.

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The US soldier standing next to the border:

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The South Korean soldier:

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Both sides often use binoculars to look closely at the doings of the opposite side. There are also cameras everywhere.

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The place is also used for official talks between the two countries - they sometimes meet inside one of the blue buildings at a table located half in South Korea and half in North Korea, so that even then everyone remains in their respective country. They also have a phone hotline they use for urgent matters. However, sometimes when the South tries to call the North and no one answers the phone, they use more direct means of communication:

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Some more random photos:

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BRICKSHELF GALLERY


So that's it, that was my most unorthodox and perhaps one of my strangest MOCs so far. Let me also add that I'm Polish, not Korean, but I think I can understand the tragedy of what was once one country, but now is divided in such a manner.

Thank you for your time!

Edited by Rufus, 29 April 2012 - 11:31 AM.
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#2 rriggs

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:00 AM

I love this and think the use of the clone brand is spot on!

Good job!

Cheers

Rog
"I bet Einstein turned himself all kinds of colours before he invented the lightbulb"

#3 Legocrazy81

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:45 AM

It really is a tragedy, you really enlightened me on the border. I had no idea the day to day. Bit of a single MOC, but it gets the job done.
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#4 Dreamweb

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for your comments, ideed it is a simple thing to build, but sometimes "less is more" and this is one of the cases where I decided that it's not the MOC itself and building techniques and whatnor that matter, it was just my way of expressing the character of that particular place on Earth, and doing so in simple terms. Although I admit it would be nice to build a full diorama of that complex - who knows, maybe one day I will.

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:59 PM

Excellent work 'Dreamweb', sad but true that this is so real....the north and south are still technically....well,.....it would only take  something bad to happen and would be on again ! :sadnew:
The 38th parallel is the dividing line between them and back in 1953 it was only a truse signed between everyone involved.  :sadnew:

#6 jonwil

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:23 AM

Nice MOC, I think the clone brand figs really work for this.

#7 Brickwarrior

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:15 AM

I've stood on that ground.  It is a strange place, and the North Korean guards who watch you through their binoculars are amusing.  They are really intense, as if they believe that at any moment an American might suddenly dash into North Korea and start the next war.

You can actually cross into North Korea inside of the building used for the talks.  Half the building is in South Korea, half the North.  It's free to roam inside the building, which is a nondescript space.  Just don't open the door on the North Korean side.  Apparently doing that gets them excited.

#8 jonwil

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:28 AM

The ongoing war in Korea is also the reason the US refuses to sign the international treaty banning the use of land mines (they claim that a minefield is the only way to protect the south from invasion by the north)

#9 Legocrazy81

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:42 AM

View PostBrickwarrior, on 25 January 2012 - 01:15 AM, said:

I've stood on that ground.  It is a strange place, and the North Korean guards who watch you through their binoculars are amusing.  They are really intense, as if they believe that at any moment an American might suddenly dash into North Korea and start the next war.

You can actually cross into North Korea inside of the building used for the talks.  Half the building is in South Korea, half the North.  It's free to roam inside the building, which is a nondescript space.  Just don't open the door on the North Korean side.  Apparently doing that gets them excited.
Yeah, I bet that would be an awesome yet eerie feeling, much like standing at Gettysburg.

Again, Dreamweb, I really think you did fine with your "more is less" approach. In this case, its definitely more about telling a story than an really well done model.  :thumbup: :thumbup:
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#10 Dreamweb

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:19 PM

View PostBrickwarrior, on 25 January 2012 - 01:15 AM, said:

I've stood on that ground.  It is a strange place, and the North Korean guards who watch you through their binoculars are amusing.  They are really intense, as if they believe that at any moment an American might suddenly dash into North Korea and start the next war.

You can actually cross into North Korea inside of the building used for the talks.  Half the building is in South Korea, half the North.  It's free to roam inside the building, which is a nondescript space.  Just don't open the door on the North Korean side.  Apparently doing that gets them excited.
Well, I have not been there, I'm sure it must've been a powerful experience for you. But I wish to go there someday - somehow I find visiting such eerie places fascinating, for example I've been to Chernobyl, a strange place too and it's much closer to where I live than Korea.

I know about those buildings too, also I've seen a movie clip in which two South Korean soldiers approach the door on the North Korean side and they're holding hands, just in case a North Korean opens the door and tries to pull one of them into his country.

View Postjonwil, on 25 January 2012 - 01:28 AM, said:

The ongoing war in Korea is also the reason the US refuses to sign the international treaty banning the use of land mines (they claim that a minefield is the only way to protect the south from invasion by the north)

That's true, the whole border between the two Koreas is basically a giant minefield, with high voltage fences and guard posts everywhere. The Joint Security Area is the only place without the landmines, where the two sides are in direct contact. Also, the North Koreans have been digging tunnels under the minefields, I think 4 of them have been found by the South, and no one knows how many more there are.

And BTW, check out this website - these are LEGO-like bricks made in North Korea: LINK

#11 Brickwarrior

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:35 PM

View PostDreamweb, on 25 January 2012 - 10:19 PM, said:

Well, I have not been there, I'm sure it must've been a powerful experience for you. But I wish to go there someday - somehow I find visiting such eerie places fascinating, for example I've been to Chernobyl, a strange place too and it's much closer to where I live than Korea.

I know about those buildings too, also I've seen a movie clip in which two South Korean soldiers approach the door on the North Korean side and they're holding hands, just in case a North Korean opens the door and tries to pull one of them into his country.

I've not seen that behavior from the guards.  Normally two or more ROK Marines come into the building when I've been there, and they post at the far hatch.  The ROK Marines are fairly tough fellows.  I don't think that any of the North Korean soldiers I've seen in that area would want to grab one of them.

#12 KartoffelViking

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:07 PM

Excellent work, Dreamweb! I love "social commentary" MOCs, and I agree your usage of LEGO and clone-brand bricks is very appropriate here.

#13 Dreamweb

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:08 PM

View PostBrickwarrior, on 25 January 2012 - 10:35 PM, said:

I've not seen that behavior from the guards.  Normally two or more ROK Marines come into the building when I've been there, and they post at the far hatch.  The ROK Marines are fairly tough fellows.  I don't think that any of the North Korean soldiers I've seen in that area would want to grab one of them.

Well, the clip I saw was not from when the tourists were inside the building, in which case the ROK soldiers simply guard the door, like you described it. In this case the two ROK guys were actually doing something with the door on the North Korean side - perhaps just closing it, or perhaps locking or unlocking it, I'm not sure, I guess it wasn't a typical situation, and additional precautions were required. In any case they were holding hands and it was explained to the viewer that they did it so the soldier standing closer to the exit would not be pulled outside the building into the DPRK territory.

Anway, I really envy you experiencing it first-hand, hope to go on a trip there sometime.



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