North and South Korea are currently at war, but that didn’t stop the Excalibur-derby of galleries, set aside in Baengnyeong, North Korea for the display of a time capsule. And as you can see from the photos, you may not be able to tour the galleries without one of their guards being in a bulletproof vest. Indeed, you might not want to visit if you see a guard without a vest in the gallery. South Korea once did the same thing in the 1990s, when the country was suffering under an anti-immigrant “anti-alien” regime under military dictator Park Chung-hee.
The irony of South Korea’s decision to deploy the deadly armor system, whose primary use is for national security purposes, is not lost on the North Koreans, according to AP photographer Yoo Ho-yeol, who documented the South Korea-North Korea museum in his photographs. The South Koreans see their museum as an exhibit of their own cultural superiority, he said. “The way they are looking at this museum is obviously condescending toward the North,” Ho-yeol said. “The way they exhibit this time capsule shows that the South Koreans are in control.”
Click through the slideshow above to see more photos from the gallery.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the gallery showed a time capsule. The time capsule is in fact an exhibit of Korean traditional customs and traditions.
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