It’s fair to say that Korea has had a rather troubled history, and has struggled not only with outside invasions but also from threats within the peninsula. The War Memorial of Korea museum covers pretty much the entire history of Korean warfare, from the Three Kingdoms era all the way through to the Korean War and Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War. It even shows what future warfare might look like, slightly concerning seeing as the two Korea’s are technically still at war.
This huge museum located near Yongsan was once the headquarters of the Korean Infantry before being turned into a museum in 1994. In the outdoor exhibit, dozens of tanks, jets, and guns make up just some of the 13,000 items of military memorabilia and equipment housed in the museum. They even display a replica of the South Korean navy vessel sank by a North Korean torpedo in 2010. Unsurprisingly this makes it one of the largest museums of it’s kind in the world.
Outside the museum the Statue of Brothers serves as a poignant reminder of the division between the two Koreas. The monument shows two brothers standing on top of a dome, embracing each other. The older brother is an ROK officer and his younger brother is serving in the North Korean army, and their embrace takes place when they meet on the battlefield. The crack in the dome symbolises the division of Korea and the hope for reunification.
A visit to the War Memorial of Korea is essential for anyone wanting to truly understand the country’s struggle to get to where it is today. To get there take subway line 4 or 6 to Samgakji station and leave by exit 12. Walk straight and after about five minutes the museum will be on your left.