Joint Security Area
Panmunjom, North Korea
Joint Security Area Panmunjom Reviews
Border between 2 countries which are one nation May 04, 2010
This was the day of the trip I had looked forward to the most, to visit the Joint Security Area (JSE) inside the DMZ. I had always thought I would see it in South Korea, but now I was visiting it first inside North Korea.
And I must say that I wasn't disappointed, maybe the foggy weather only, at all! I feared very strict rules concerning our visit, but it all seemed pretty relaxed. Of course there was tension, as both countries are still at war with each other.
But the North Korean Army captain only instructed us to form lines of 4 and then follow him to various points where he explained about the JSE. And all the while, we were free to take as many photographs as we want, even from the military personel! Normally it's forbidden to photograph anything military in North Korea.
We were taken into the North Korean border building, Panmun-gak, first where we stood on the steps and could see into South Korea. Then we were taken inside the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) building.
This and 2 other (blue) buildings, belong to South Korea and are used for official meetings between the 2 countries. We were allowed to sit down at the conference table, some seated on the South Korean side, others on the North Korean site. After an explanation by the captain, we had several minutes to take photos. 2 North Korean soldiers were guarding the door.
Then we went back inside Panmun-gak to stand on the balcony for a view over the JSE area. At the same time, tourists came out of the South Korean border building for their visit to the MAC.
All in all, this was a wonderful experience, especially with the relaxed atmosphere and ability to take as many photos as I could.
As all the visits to the various sites were included in the tour, it was unknown to me about the costs. That's why I made them free.
(Note: pictures that show a * haven't been taken by me)
Part of the list What to see and do in North Korea
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