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Daeseong-dong (also called Tae Sung Dong), South Korea, is a town in South Korea close to the North Korean border. It lies within the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The village is about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) south of the Bridge of No Return, and 12 km (7.5 miles) from the city of Kaesong, North Korea.
Daeseong-dong belongs administratively to Josan-ri, Gunnae-myeon, in Paju. It is the only civilian habitation within the Southern portion of the DMZ. Panmunjeom is 0.6 mi to the northeast, and the actual Military Demarcation Line (the de facto border between South and North Korea) is only 350 meters (1,150 feet) west of the village.
Daeseong-dong is only one mile from Kijŏng-dong, a village in North Korea's portion of the DMZ. Here Korea's division is starkly apparent: rival national flags can be seen on gigantic flagpoles that have been erected in the two villages.
While the DMZ is under the administration of the Allied Control Commission, the residents of Daesong-dong are considered South Korean civilians, and subject to South Korean laws. These residents have some unique benefits and restrictions. For example, they have the same rights to vote and receive education, but are exempt from national defense duties (conscription) and taxation. However, limitations include restrictions on changing residence, and an 11 p.m. curfew.
In the 1980s, the South Korean government built a 98.4 m (323 ft) flagpole in Daeseong-dong, which flies a South Korean flag weighing 130 kilograms (287 pounds). In what some have called the "flagpole war," the North Korean government responded by building the 160 m (525 ft) Panmunjeom flagpole in Kijŏng-dong, only 1.2 km (0.7 mi) west of the border with South Korea. It flies a 270 kg (595 lb) flag of North Korea. As of 2011, the Panmunjeom flagpole is the third tallest in the world, after the Dushanbe Flagpole in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, at 165 m (541 ft), and the pole at the National Flag Square in Baku, Azerbaijan, which is 162 m (531 ft).
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