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Manoa 14.2 (2002-2003) 145
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Refuge in the DMZ
[The Death of Kwang Ja]
The demilitarized zone at Korea's thirty-eighth parallel, the most heavily ortified border in the world, has become a refuge for some of Asia's most endangered species. Animals that once roamed the Korean peninsula and captured the imaginations of its people are now found only inside the 2.5-mile-wide, 155-mile-long strip that has been a virtual no-man's-land for half a century. The rare Asian black bear is thought to exist inside the zone, and there are rumors that the Korean tiger, once thought to have vanished from the peninsula, survives there. Reports also confirm that two of the world's most endangered birds, the white-naped and the red-crowned crane, have made the thirty-eighth parallel their wintering grounds.