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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 11:48 GMT
On tour with President Bush - Day Five
The BBC's Nick Bryant is travelling with US President George W Bush on his tour of Asia. He will be sending us regular e-mails charting the president's progress around the region.

Day Five - Dateline: Dorasan station - DMZ
0944 GMT, 20 February

It's no joke up here' says First Lieutenant Charles Levine, a clean-cut all-American servicemen who up until a few months ago was a maths teacher in South Carolina. Now he's stationed on the southern fringes of the demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea, guarding a "frontier against evil".

Presidents Bush and Kim at Dorasan train station
Last stop: Presidents Bush and Kim at Dorasan train station
It's out with the geometry and in with the geopolitics.

"We are constantly on the maximum state of alert,"' says Levine, an edge of excitement lifting his South Carolian drawl, as we rumble down the road towards the barbed wire fences and look-out posts, which scar this battle-worn landscape.

Our destination is Dorasan Station, the last train station on the Southern Korean side of the so-called "Unification Railway".

Shortly after their climactic summit in June, 2000, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il agreed to reconnect their two countries by rail and road. But it is only the builders on the south side who have been hard at work.

Their most inspired creation is a magnificent new rail terminal, sheathed in mirror glass and hi-tech beams, which looks like a Eurostar will come flashing past at any moment.

President Bush views North Korea from the DMZ
Staring at "evil": President Bush views North Korea from the DMZ
It's a magnificent structure and a shimmering symbol of President Kim Dae-jung's famed Sunshine Policy of engagement and reconcialtion with the North.

But right now, the track goes no further than the wire fences, which just fall short of the military demarcation line, established in 1953 when hostilities in the Korean War came to an end (technically, a state of war is still in existence).

For President Bush, this is a dividing line between good and evil - as powerful a setting in his war on terrorism, as the Berlin Wall was for Ronald Reagan as the Cold War neared its end.

Click here for Day Four
Click here for Day Three
Click here for Day Two
Click here for Day One

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