Border crisis: America, here's an abbreviated history of border walls

I was recently given the unique privilege of viewing a remote, yet extremely important tract of land that cuts the Korean Peninsula in half. It is known as the DMZ—the Demilitarized Zone—or by the infamous reference “The 38th Parallel.” In all, it is 250 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide. To call it “demilitarized” is a bit of dark humor. Made of earthen walls, concrete, and barbed wire, this border is interrupted only by guard towers manned by soldiers with automatic rifles.

With the use of a pair of field glasses, I could see the guard posts of the North Korean People’s Army (KPA) across the wide expanse of this No Man’s Land, and if you looked very carefully, you could even make out the dark figures of the sentries themselves. It’s a dangerous place. Those occupying the 150 guard posts on the northern side of the wire have been known to shoot more than a few people on the southern side.

Since the Korean War ended in July 1953, more than a thousand South Koreans, Americans, and other citizens of countries that comprise the forces of the United Nations have been killed along this stretch of hotly contested land. As recently as 2015, North Korea lobbed a few shells into a nearby South Korean village to destroy, of all things, loudspeakers playing K-Pop. I’ve heard of asking your neighbors to turn down their music, but this is taking it to a whole new level.

As the soldier guiding me pointed out various aspects of this barrier, I couldn’t help but think of the current controversy surrounding Trump’s proposed border wall.  More than that, I thought of border walls throughout history and their purposes.

Here are a few:

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