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Panmunjeom

Country
Korea
State
Korea, South (General)
City
Guinsa
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

From the North

To visit from the DPRK side is relatively straightforward if it is previously specified as part of your tour (most tours include a day trip to the DMZ from Pyongyang). See North Korea for tour agent listings.

The JSA is 215 kilometers south of Pyongyang. The two are connected by the six-lane Reunification Highway, which much like its Southern counterpart is vast, immaculately maintained and practically empty. Signs along the road count down not the distance to the DMZ, but to Seoul.
 

From the South

Visits to Panmunjeom from the South Korean side must be arranged in advance as part of an organized tour, although for foreigners three days notice usually suffices. Many companies advertise "daily" tours, but generally tours to the DMZ run only certain days, so check in advance. On tour days, depending on the day, various combinations of tours to 3rd tunnel, tours to Panmunjeom, and joint tours are available.

Key places to visit
North Korea Peace Museum, Bridge of No Return, Taesong-dong, Freedom House, Camp Bonifas, Kijong-dong


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Places to Visit

North Korea Peace Museum

North Korea Peace Museum, 500m north of the JSA. The building where the armistice agreement was signed. The actual documents are kept here, guarded over by a tattered, faded UN flag and a miraculously well-preserved DPRK flag. The axe of Axe Murder Incident fame is supposedly also stored here, although it has not been on display for a while. Accessible from the North only.

Bridge of No Return

Bridge of No Return, JSA. After the Korean war, some prisoners of war were given the choice to cross over the bridge or to stay on the side of their captors, hence the name. On August 18, 1976, a US attempt to cut down a poplar tree obstructing visibility of the bridge led to a battle with North Korean forces that left Capt. Arthur Bonifas and Lt. Mark Barrett dead in what was later known as the Axe Murder Incident. The bridge is now closed and a new bridge to the north is used instead. Usually visited from the South only.

Taesong-dong

Taesong-dong, DMZ. South Korea's showpiece "Freedom Village" in the DMZ, containing a little over 200 farmers working under 24-hour military guard and a 100-meter flagpole. The only ways to become a member of the village is to be born into it or by marriage (women only). Entry into the village is not permitted, but you will pass by on your way to the JSA from the South side.

Freedom House

Freedom House, JSA. South Korea's propaganda palace facing the demarcation line. Visitors are usually taken to the Peace Pagoda next to it, which provides good views of the JSA and surrounding countryside. Accessible only from the Southern side.

Camp Bonifas

Camp Bonifas, at the southern entrance to DMZ. This is the US/South Korean military base standing "In Front of Them All" should an attack come. Visitors to Panmunjeom will change buses and get briefed here before entering the DMZ.
 

Kijong-dong

Kijong-dong, DMZ. On the North Korean side, this is a former village built up with fancy apartment blocks and a 160-meter flagpole entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's tallest — but nobody lives there, hence its common name "Propaganda Village". Entry into the village is not permitted, but it is clearly visible from the USA (although binoculars will come in handy).

Right Time to Visit

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