Hacking the DMZ (the border between the two Koreas)
Since 1953, the DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) separates Korea into two countries. Unique biodiversity has grown between landmines to become a curious lab for researchers interested in Life and Earth sciences, heavy industry, armament, and technology. On the diplomatic scene, the DMZ is the home of the Joint Security Area, a strategic hotspot for international negotiations in East Asia, commanded by a Western nation, the USA. To be reunited the two Koreas need the U.S President's approval. The North and the South are ready for it, but the external American validation is still pending. Not only will it end the war, but it will also produce a better way to tackle the climate crisis in this part of the world.
Indeed, one current project between South Korea and North Korea is to jointly invest in the construction of railways, a clean means of transportation that will reduce pollution caused by air and sea freight forwarding. However, this project is perceived as a threat for neighboring countries because trains would probably increase the economic power of Korea in East Asia. The Japanese government influenced the former American President, Trump, to not sign the reunification, against the will of Koreans.
To hack the DMZ, we have used art and social science. First, in a reverse engineering way, we managed to gather historical, biological, political, technological data with art projects depicting the Cold War border. Then, we interviewed Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese tech artists and curators on their knowledge of the DMZ. It uncovered historical political tensions between their country and Korea, that remain in social discourses through generations. Finally, by studying how Western countries view North Korea and South Korea, we came to the point to destroy silly stereotypes. Behind Kim Jong Un, North Korean Hackers, South Korean Gamers, or BTS Army, there are thoughtful projects aimed to handle environmental and social challenges but delayed by external political influences, and the balance of power on the international scene.
The best way to hack the DMZ is not technical, but intellectual. It starts in the human mind with knowledge of this Cold War border, the actual Korean culture, and the international relations in East Asia.