I finally had my day at the War Memorial of Korea. After months of good intentions and failed plans, my friends and I made it to Seoul to rove the grounds and soak up some history. For those of you in Korea who are thinking of going, you should do it at least once while you’re here. It’s very nationalistic of course, but it’s really well-laid out and quite insightful if you enjoy history. The museum showcases the Korean War and many other wars that the Republic of Korea Armed Forces have participated in.
Since the ROK Armed Forces was established in 1948, it has joined many United Nations missions to assist with disaster relief and humanitarian operations all over the world. For example, they sent troops to Angola from 1995-1996, to East Timor from 1999-2004 and are still serving now in Somalia, Lebanon and Liberia. There are also a lot of displays showcasing the UN and countries around the world who supported the nation during its time of war and separation from the north.
The war museum has three floors and a huge display of tanks, missiles and planes outside the grounds.
The first floor has paintings and displays showing the battles Korea fought against Mongol, Japanese and Chinese armies as well as the evolution and development of the Korean military.
The second floor has short documentary films playing that cover footage of the major battles Korea has faced since the time of film and television, mostly regarding the Korean War. The second floor also holds a recreation of the signing of the armistice agreement and a couple 4D simulations.
The third floor has a combat experience room where visitors can get some hands-on learning. Patrons can check out the F-15K 3D experience room where you get to see what it’s like to board a F-15 fighter jet. There is also the shooting area where visitors can shoot a K-2 rifle. It’s just a simulation, so don’t worry! The rifle shoots air into a target on a screen a few feet away. The manager of the area said it was only for students, but my friend told him I was a student and he was my teacher, so we got to give it a go :)
Admission is free to the War Memorial of Korea, but donations are welcome. You’ll see several boxes around the first floor where you can donate some won if you like.
The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30-6pm. The site suggests it takes 3 hours to get through, and I would agree with that. It took our gang 2 and a half hours to mosey around so if you want to take your time and read all the info, you should get there before 3pm.
For subway transport, get off at samgakji station, (line 4 or line 6) and leave through exit 12. You’ll be right around the corner from the museum from that point. I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour as much as I did the real thing!