The Face at the Window: A Glimpse Into …

The city centre of Kaesong in North Korea Standing almost with his nose against the glass, he was smiling broadly and waving his open hand slowly back and forth as our bus full of South Korean tourists passed in front of his ground-level apartment building. What was this elderly citizen of Kaesong City in North Korea saying to us? Throughout our one-day visit to this ancient Korean capital just north of the heavily-fortified dividing line police and soldiers had kept ordinary citizens at a distance. Though many stopped and stared as we passed or disembarked at tourist sites, no adult had dared make a gesture toward us. Groups of young children, some just out of school were an exception. Perhaps they had not been warned, or their exuberance overcame them. They ran toward our bus waving vigorously. At one point even a group of adolescent boys waved, a bit sheepishly. The South Koreans had been warned not to wave or make gestures from the moving bus, but some could not resist responding to the children.

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