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RTSTA6V
Learning English in the Korean DMZ's Freedom Village
Children commute daily into one of the world's most heavily armed zones, to the Daesungdong Elementary School located in Taesung Freedom Village, a settlement on the southern side of the Korean peninsula's Demilitarized Zone.
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9B6
November 25, 2016
Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, high-fives children at the Daesungdong...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, high-fives children at the Daesungdong Elementary School, a school inside the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea. For South Korean schoolgirl Lee Su-jin, the daily commute into one of the world's most heavily armed zones, trundling past barbed-wire fences, military checkpoints and anti-tank barricades, has become routine.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AK
November 25, 2016
Children are seen inside a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. The 11-year-old's school...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Children are seen inside a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. The 11-year-old's school sits in the Korean peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 4-km (2.5-mile) wide buffer between North and South Korea that former U.S. President Bill Clinton once called "the scariest place on Earth".

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BL
November 25, 2016
A soldier stands at the Daesungdong Elementary School. Lee is one of 25 children who ride the bus from...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
A soldier stands at the Daesungdong Elementary School. Lee is one of 25 children who ride the bus from nearby towns to the Daesungdong Elementary School, located in Taesung Freedom Village, a settlement on the southern side of the DMZ. "People are worried about us, but soldiers are with us, and we do evacuation drills. So I don't think there is anything to be scared or worried about," the fourth grader told Reuters.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BR
November 25, 2016
Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, teaches an English language class...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, teaches an English language class at the Daesungdong Elementary School. Places at the school, just a few steps from North Korea, are coveted by South Koreans living near the border, as it offers their children a rare opportunity to learn English from American soldiers and United Nations officials overseeing a fragile truce that followed the 1950-53 Korean War.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BG
November 25, 2016
Children play in a playground as the South Korean national flag flutters on the top of a 100-meter tower,...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Children play in a playground as the South Korean national flag flutters on the top of a 100-meter tower, at the Daesungdong Elementary School. The school has 29 pupils this year, against a quota of 30 agreed with United Nations officials. With just four students from the village itself, authorities allot places by lottery for those who live elsewhere. Students pay no fees for classes or meals.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BV
November 25, 2016
Bryan Waite (L), a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, teaches an English language...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Bryan Waite (L), a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, teaches an English language class at the Daesungdong Elementary School. Parents consider the extracurricular lessons in English, a key subject in school and college entrance exams, give children an advantage over private, and often expensive, alternatives available elsewhere in the South. "My mom recommended this school," Lee said.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AD
November 25, 2016
South Korean flag flutters on the top of a 100-metre tower as soldiers stand guard on the rooftop of...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
South Korean flag flutters on the top of a 100-metre tower as soldiers stand guard on the rooftop of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village. The school opened initially for children of farmers allowed to stay in the DMZ after the war. Isolated North Korea and the wealthy, democratic South are still technically at war after the conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AJ
November 25, 2016
Children look at a soldier as they stand in a line to take a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Children look at a soldier as they stand in a line to take a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. In 2008, facing extinction as the surrounding population dwindled, the school opened its doors to South Korean children living outside the DMZ. At the same time, the U.S.-led United Nations command headquarters began sending soldiers there to teach English twice a week.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AX
November 25, 2016
A child looks out from a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. "Our students' parents are...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
A child looks out from a school bus at the Daesungdong Elementary School. "Our students' parents are very interested in their children learning English, and ask a lot about their English ability," said Lee Hyun-sun, the school's vice principal.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BN
November 25, 2016
Bryan Waite (C), a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, films Nanta, a Korean nonverbal...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Bryan Waite (C), a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, films Nanta, a Korean nonverbal percussion performance, performed by children at the Daesungdong Elementary School. Bryan Waite, a 22-year-old American sailor and volunteer teacher, said the school allowed students to practice English speaking skills and learn about the history of the area.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BM
November 25, 2016
Children perform Nanta, a Korean nonverbal percussion performance, at the Daesungdong Elementary School....
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Children perform Nanta, a Korean nonverbal percussion performance, at the Daesungdong Elementary School. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9CC
November 25, 2016
Posters bearing messages, wishing unification between the two Koreas, hang on a wall at the Daesungdong...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Posters bearing messages, wishing unification between the two Koreas, hang on a wall at the Daesungdong Elementary School. "It's a unique experience and it's very important that the children, from a young age, are exposed to English and to knowing what the DMZ is, and how it comes into play in their lives and the history behind it," Waite said.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BX
November 25, 2016
An English language book is placed next to a military cap of Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
An English language book is placed next to a military cap of Bryan Waite, a U.S. navy officer based in JSA area for U.N. command, as he teaches an English language class at the Daesungdong Elementary School. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9BI
November 25, 2016
An honorary member certificate given by United Nations Military Armistice Commission Secretariat is seen...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
An honorary member certificate given by United Nations Military Armistice Commission Secretariat is seen at the Daesungdong Elementary School. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST99U
November 25, 2016
A pair of binoculars is seen on the rooftop of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near the...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
A pair of binoculars is seen on the rooftop of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). In contrast to the upbeat mood in the classroom, an uneasy tension hangs over the village. The steady drone of North Korean music comes over the border, where farmers work under military supervision.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9A8
November 25, 2016
North Korean flag flatters on the top of 160-metre tower at North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
North Korean flag flatters on the top of 160-metre tower at North Korea's propaganda village of Gijungdong in this picture taken from the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Unless they have a military escort, students are forbidden to venture outside the school, which faces north, and has a frontage packed with bricks to protect against stray bullets.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AZ
November 25, 2016
A post box is seen at the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Teachers...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
A post box is seen at the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Teachers and children must leave the school every day ahead of a curfew that runs from midnight to 5 a.m.

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9B1
November 25, 2016
A shelter is seen near the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Despite...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
A shelter is seen near the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). Despite the risks, there is a certain peace in the desolate zone, said vice principal Lee. "When I cross into the southern boundary, my mind is really peaceful," he said. "I've never felt anything dangerous."

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9B3
November 25, 2016
Kim Dong-ku, head of the village, stands in front of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Kim Dong-ku, head of the village, stands in front of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AH
November 25, 2016
Women sort red peppers at the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). REUTERS/Kim...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Women sort red peppers at the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AB
November 25, 2016
Propaganda village of Gijungdong of North Korea is seen in this picture taken from the Tae Sung freedom...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Propaganda village of Gijungdong of North Korea is seen in this picture taken from the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
SOUTHKOREA-BORDER/SCHOOL
RTST9AY
November 25, 2016
Soldiers stand guard on the rooftop of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military...
Paju, South Korea
The Wider Image: Learning English in Korea's Freedom Village
Soldiers stand guard on the rooftop of a village hall of the Tae Sung freedom village near the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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