SOUTH KOREA: Getting Nervous

After 22 years of "temporary" truce, the Demilitarized Zone that partitions Korea has become, among other things, a bird sanctuary. The gigantic white-plumed Manchurian crane, an exotic type of which only 30 specimens are known to exist, now winters in the barbed-wire-lined DMZ.

Scarcely less exotic are the human rituals that take place along the border. At one point, for example, the South Koreans have built an elaborate stucco "freedom village" that is supposed to typify the comforts of capitalism; near by, the North Koreans have solemnly built a slightly larger Potemkin village of their own (its 3,000 smiling inhabitants are...