Review of attraction: Joint Security Area, Paju, Seoul, Korea

The Joint Security Area (JSA) is a small area within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) of Korea. Previously, north and south Korean army personnel could stay within the area where both are able to roam free (hence the term “joint”) and conduct their duties . Due to some violent incident, an invisible demarcation line now exists in the JSA completely parting both countries.

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As it now stands, the term “joint” in JSA appears to be a misnomer because army personnel from either side are now limited by such demarcation line.

The joint security area with the conference rows in blue
The joint security area with the conference rows in blue

Army personnel from both sides now stand face to face on either side of the line. Note that the south Korean side is guarded by UN peacekeepers. There’s a lengthy explanation and I won’t get into that here.

We booked the JSA Tour only (no need to book a DMZ tour because JSA already included a tour  of the DMZ). When in Seoul and you’re staying for only a few days, JSA is the tour worth taking where we got to: a) visit the UN Command stationed to keep the peace at DMZ; b) visit the conference row at JSA, which directly faced north Korea and north Korean army personnel; c)take a selfie with north Korean territory as a backdrop ; d) go into the conference room and cross the invisible demarcation line to north Korean territory; and d) perceive the bridge of no return (as seen on that James Bond movie) in person. DSC_0111_1

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Another highlight of the tour (there were so many!) was, we got to hike down the “third” tunnel connecting south to north Korea. This tunnel was allegedly dug up by north Korea, which the latter officially denied.

xoxo,

20 something lawyer

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2 thoughts on “Review of attraction: Joint Security Area, Paju, Seoul, Korea

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