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Cheonghodaegyo-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
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Lost in the last century Sokcho-si  South Korea

Lost in the last century

Here in the world's most internet-saturated country, with smartphones, high-speed trains and HDTVs, this streetscape caught my eye--lost in time. I was wandering the side streets near the seawall in Sokcho, South Korea; I didn't yet know that this neighborhood was a relic of the Korean War (1950-1953).

I came to learn that refugees fleeing the fighting in what would become "North Korea" ended up 'squatting' here, building small houses for what they thought would be a temporary stay while war flattened much of their country. Then came the stalemate and the armed division of the peninsula that had been a united country for over a thousand years. Their ancestral lands up north lost, they would have to make do with these 'temporary' quarters. Home would now be here, by the sea. Now, even a couple of generations later, this neighborhood is a reminder of the artificial yet all-too-real division of this ancient country.