Peace Dam was built over the period of 15 months from February 1988 to May 1988 with funds donated by the general public in response to North Korea’s construction of Geumgangsan Dam and a potential flooding attack. The flood control dam has proved its worth during the floods of 1995, 1996, and 1999 and it has become a major tourist destination over the years. Located In the vicinity of Peace Dam is Bimok Park, which is the origin of the famous national song “Bimok.”
In addition to the war monuments inside the park, there are around a dozen wooden crosses with rusty iron helmets placed on top within the barbed wire entanglements around the hill, thereby reminding visitors of the national tragedy of the Korean War. The county of Hwancheon hosts the Bimok Cultural Festival from June 3 to June 6 every year at Bimok Park, Bungeoseom Island by the town’s riverside, and the surrounding areas. The four-day festival offers a variety of events such as song contest, memorial ceremony of poetry reading, bimok tree cutting contest, rice ball eating contest, army life experience, military music parade, and more.
Crossing over to Yanggu County from Peace Dam, there is a national security education place comprised of attractions like the 4th Underground Tunnel and Eulji Observatory. Paroho Lake Battlefield Tourist Park is also worth a visit after looking around Peace Dam. Also known as the “ocean within mountains,” Paroho is a manmade lake created as a result of Hwacheon Dam constructed in 1944. The lake is home to over 70 different species of freshwater fish such as mandarin fish and carp. It also holds a sorrowful history of burying at sea a whole three divisions of the Chinese Forces in defending the lake during the Korean War. The name Paroho, meaning “enemy breaking lake,” was given after the late president of Korea Rhee Syngman visited the place and designated a plaque in his own handwriting in memory of obtaining victory in fierce battle. There is an observatory, a security hall, and a stone monument engraved with the poetry of Wolha Rhee Taegeuk (1913-2003).
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