The War Memorial Museum of Korea (전쟁기념관)

The war memorial of Korea

Just recently, I had the chance to visit War Memorial Museum in Seoul. I had been to the War Memorial Park which is located just outside the building of the museum for the nth time, but never had the chance to enter the war museum. Before, I don’t understand why there’s a need to have a war museum. I just thought it’s too violent and unusual, but things had changed when I visited the Indepence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. I now understand the information that war museums would like to convey. The Independence Hall of Korea showed what happened during the Japanese-Korean war, but The War Memorial Museum in Seoul is all about the North and South Korean war as well as war against the Chinese communist. I just realized that South Korea has been through a lot of war in its history, no wonder why they require Korean men to undergo military service, maybe in preparation of whatever kind of war that may come to them in the future.

Our tour guide, a Korean guy named Jaemin of Loving Korea, in his military uniform, diligently explained to us what happened during the North and South Korean war. I was late during the tour, so I think I missed a lot of his explanations and fun (or not) facts about the war that has transpired ages ago. The war museum is a huge building, or should I say a huge military history museum.

The tourists with the tour guide

The museum is divided into different halls. I shared the tour with several other foreign nationalities and Jaemin took us to the Exhibiton 6.25 room and to the adjacent halls which hold different documentations, statues, interactive demonstration and dioramas of what really happened during the war. We also watched a 4D documentary footage in black and white showing the main battles and the events that happened during the war. It was a terrifying footage because we didn’t just see it, we also felt it. The cold, the eerie surrounding, the fear and the struggle, I felt it by just watching the documentary.

Actual photos captured during the war

There are also activities and interactive amenities inside the museum, it’s still all about the war but it will help you learn in the fun way. The actual photos, maps, artifacts and footages are all over the hall, you could not miss single information if you will just take time to check it all.

Statues depicting the war

The good thing about the War Memorial Museum in Korea is that, you can enter for FREE. Our tour guide, Jaemin, said that their government spent a lot of money just to establish a museum like this because it will help reminds Koreans about the war that happened before. However, this may look like a history museum, but it is still relevant nowadays seeing that South Korea is still not in good terms with North Korea. In short, the war is not yet over. Although there’s an on going negotiations and both countries are currently in agreement with establishing a Demilitarized zone, one single mistake may ignite the fire between the two warring nations. The way Jaemin described the ordeals in the Demilitarized zone, I can say that the war between North and South Korea is still on going. The war museum is the living reminder of the real struggle of this war.

Interactive amenities at the war memorial museum

I’m glad I was able to enter the museum. Just outside the building, there are other things you can see. Aside from the statues, buildings and different symbolism, you can see the display of different military equipment. If you want see what’s outside the war memorial park, you can CLICK here to visit my previous post about it.