Jeju Peace Museum

Peace_Museum2Here are two views from Gama Oreum. The top one looks through the trees northwards towards Jeoji Oreum; the one below looks at some more distant oreums a little more to the east.

Apart from being a vantage point from which to admire the scenery, Gama Oreum is the site of the Jeju Peace Museum, on account of the three-level network of military tunnels within it. A total of 2 km of tunnels, with 33 separate entrances, were dug between 1932 and 1945. Jeju was strategically important, and Gama Oreum was in turn important because of the view over Altteuru airfield.

There’s a film for visitors to watch as you enter the museum. It has a message of world peace; indeed, Jeju has been designated as an Island of World Peace. However, I’m not sure that the message is unambiguous within the film, or fully supported in the rest of the museum. It’s a difficult thing to achieve – telling things how they were without either pointing the finger at the aggressors in the war or simply allowing visitors to draw conclusions that are unhelpful.

And it’s not just the events of the Second World War that are covered. There’s a shell on display that was fired by the North Koreans at the south in 2010, and some booklets for sale with illustrations that show the South Koreans and their allies with benevolent faces and soldiers from North Korea with wild eyes and fierce faces. Sigh.

Peace_Museum1

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