Hotels in Korea, Japan, & China
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Trip-8 DMZ & JSA Tour - Demilitarized Zone & Joint Security Area / Panmunjeom

- Tour Number: Trip-7
- Price: $137.00
- Time: 08:00 ~ 17:30
- Remarks: English speaking guide, Transportation, Free pick-up service, Entrance fee,Lunch

*Course : Seoul-Unification Park-Lunch-Iimjin Park-Ballinger Hall-Panmunjom Tour-Sofitel Hotel

*Tour Itinerary
09:20-09:40 Registration ( Lotte Hotel )
09:40-10:10 Registration ( Sofitel Ambassador Hotel )
10:10-11:10 Take Freedom Highway to Imjin Gak
*During the trip to Imjin Gak the tour guide will describe various points of interest along the way.
11:10-11:40 The trip to unification park(MON) ,Dora observatory(TUE-FRI)
11:40-12:30 Lunch (Bulgogi)
12:30-13:00 The trip to Imjin Gak park
(view the memorial at Manbaedan, freedom bridge and Imjin River Station,)
13:00-14:00 Cross Unification Bridge and arrive at Camp Bonifas
14:30-15:40 Slidesshow and briefing Camp Bonifas and tour of JSA
15:40-16:40 Arrive at Lotte Hotel,17:00 Sofitel Ambassador Hotel

*Tour Rule
1.You must carry your passport on tour day.
2.When you arrive at Conference room, do not touch any equipment such as microphones or flags belonging to the communist side.
3.Do not speak with, make any gesture toward or in any way, approach or respond to personnel from the other side.
4.Sometimes military or other official considerations prevent entry into the joint security area.
5.Casual clothes such as jeans, and sandal(slippers) are not permitted in the tour area. Shaggy or unkempt hair is not allowed either.
6.Children under 10 years are not allowed.
7.There is no pick up service for this tour. All tourists come to the meeting place by themselves.

*Location of departure place

Mon-Fri: Lotte Hotel PTC Center (2nd Fl) or Sofitel Ambassardor (B1)
Sat : Dongwha Duty Free Shop (1st Fl)
No tour on Sunday

Sofitel Ambassardor

Subway : Subway Line number 3、exit 1(3 minute)
Bus : Dongguk Univ - 0212(Green) , 144(Green) , 301(Green) , 420(Green)
Subway Line 5 - 0013(Green) , 0211(Green) , 104(Blue) , 105(Blue) ,
263(Blue) , 371(Blue) , 500(Blue) , 700(Blue)
* Notice
please, be at the B1 30min before Sofitel Ambassador

Dongwha Duty Free Shop

The guidance to the Desk

* Notice
You can come here on 1st floor entrance of Donghwa duty free shop not 8th floor.

Among the people of the world, Koreans especially appreciate freedom and peace because of the civil war that separated them and the divided country in which they now live. Koreans eagerly long for a peaceful unification.

Where is Panmunjom?
Panmunjom is located inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and it is the most forward location in the DMZ that can be visited by civilians.
The administrative address is Kyunggi-do Paju-si Jinseo-myun Neolum-li (for the South Korean portion), and Kaesung-jikhalsi Panmun-joon Panmunjom-ri (for the North Korean side).
Although Panmunjom is the common name of the area, the official name of the negotiating site is the Joint Security Area (JSA).
Panmumjom is located in the western portion of the 155-mile long DMZ on the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) and it demonstrates the great sorrow of the divided country.
Panmumjom is located 62 kilometers northwest of Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and 215 kilometers south of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, 10 kilometers from Kaesong.

The history of Panmunjom
The name Panmunjom can be traced back to the time of the original armistice negotiations between the UNC and the Communist forces.
The actual site of the "truce tent" negotiations is located about 1 kilometer north of the JSA. On that location today is a North Korean army museum, which can be observed from the UNC Guard Post 3 in the JSA. The museum was originally built for the signing of the Korea Armistice Agreement that occurred on 27 July 1953.
Before the armistice negotiations, there were only four thatch-roofed huts, including an inn, in the Panmumjom area. The inn was a resting stop for people who traveled between Seoul and Sinuiju.
Previously, the name of this town was "Neolmun-li", which means "wooden gate" in the pure Korean language.
The story behind that name is very interesting. Many years ago, the King of Korea visited this and wanted to cross the river, but there was no bridge.
Thus these good people in town removed their wooden house gates and made a bridge that enabled the king to continue on his way. It was only when the armistice negotiations moved to this location form Kaesong that the place was called "Panmunjom".
This was done out of courtesy for the representatives from the Communist Chinese Army.
Three Chinese characters were written on the signboard of the inn: "Pan" means wood board in Sino-Korean; "Mun" means gate or door; and "Jom" means store, was added to denote the only inn in the area.
On 27 July 1953, the Armistice Agreement was finally signed, after 2 years and 18 days and 1,076 arduous meetings between the UNC and the Communist (North Korean and Chinese) representatives.
In accordance with the Armistice Agreement, a "Joint Security Area" was built at Panmunjom that was officially under the joint control of the UNC and North Korean militaries and the only area, which is out of the district boundaries of North and South.

Unification Park

Situated at the entrance to Munsan City, Unification Park has numerous historical monuments commemorating the war heroes of the Korean War. These includes the "War Correspondents Monument" , the " Ten Human-Bomb Heroes Monument ", the Second Lieutenant Kim Man-Sul Monument", the "Colonel Yi Yu-Chung Monument",etc.
The Memorial Tower of the Anti-Communism Special Unit was constructed to cherish the memory of a about 200 unit members who were sacrificed in the Kaema Heights Battle. The " Ten Human-Bomb Heroes Monument" was dedicated on 3 May 1980 to commemorate the brave soldiers of the 11 th Infantry Regiment who died heroically at Battle of Mt. Songak in May 1949.

The "Bridge of No Return" and The Scene of Ax Murder Incident

The "Bridge of No Return" is located at the west end of the JSA and is bisected by the MDL. In front of the "Bridge of No Return" is also where the tragic Ax Murder Incident occurred in 1976. Before the incident, the "Bridge of No Return" was the only pathway connecting North and South. Currently the bridge is blocked off with a wall on the North Korean end. Today, that route goes via the "72 Hours Bridge". The Brige is called the "72 Hours Bridge" because North Koreans built it in three days. The "Bridge of No Return" got its name from the prisoner repatriation operation after the Armistice Agreement was signed . The prisoners were exchanged across this bridge and given a choice to either cross the bridge to return to their original country or to remain on the side of their captors. However, once they crossed the bridge, they were not allowed to cross back to the other side and hence the name the "Bridge of No Return". The numbers of the prisoners exchanged from 5 August to 6 September 1953 were 13,444 UNC and 82,493 Communist troops. The guard posts on each side of the bridge were the setting for the popular korean movie "JSA".

Check point 3(Observation Platform)

After tourists visit the Freedom House and MAC Conference Building, they stop at the third guard post or Check-Point 3. From here, tourists can view the facilities around the JSA and Panmunjom such as : "Bridge of no Return ", Kaesong City and the adjacent Mt. Songak in North Korea, North Korean guard posts, and Kijong-Dong, North Korea's propaganda village. There is a silver-colored building about 2 kilometers west of Guard Post 3. This is the "old " Panmunjom building where the Armistice Agreement was signed on 27 July 1953 and is at the same location where the "truce tent talks" were held from October 1951 until the armistice was signed.
Now it is called the "Korean Peoples Peace Museum" by North Korea and tourists to North Korea receives briefings there prior to visiting Panmunjom and the JSA.

Panmun Gak

Panmun Gak is the main building managed by the North Koreans in the JSA. It is located about 80meters north of the Freedom House. It was constructed in September 1969 and is used as an office and command post for the North Korean guard force and as a stand by room for MAC meeting attendees. It is also used as a place for propaganda and instigation activities directed against the South. Every August 15th, a mass propaganda rally is held in front of this building under the name of the "8.15 Pan-National Rally".

The Peace House

The Peace House is also under the control of the South Korean government. It is located about 130 meters south of the Freedom House and was constructed in December 1980. The Peace House hosts non-military businesses such as political, economical and athletic exchanges between North and South. Twice a day, routine regular phone contact is made with Tongil Gak (the Unification Pavilion) on the north side of the JSA. South-North military officers held their first meeting here to negotiate the details of linking of the Kyongui railroad.

The Freedom House

The original Freedom House construction was completed in September 1965. Managed by the South Korean government, this building has the role of supporting North-South conferences, exchanges and communications between both sides. The new Freedom House construction was finished on 9 July 1998. Tourists usually go to this building as soon as they arrive in the JSA. from an octagonal gazebo, built in traditional Korean style, people can overlook North Korea and the JSA. Visitors can experience the tension and suffering of a divided country from the visit. When the original Freedom House was built in 1965. Red Cross representatives from the South used it to make contacts with their North Korean counterparts.


The JSA resembles a square measuring about 800 meters in diameter. After the Armistice Agreement was signed, the JSA became a neutral location where the guards from both sides were allowed to move about freely. It was the only place in the DMZ where the MDL was originally not cleared marked. That changed after North Korean guards murdered two UNC officers with axes on 18 August 1976. After the Ax Murder incident, the MDL was marked within the JSA, and that marking system continues until today. Today, the only place where border crossings are allowed is inside the conference buildings of the Military Armistice Commission(MAC). The MDL in the JSA is marked with one hundred and twenty-six 1 meter-high white stakes, along the boundary line a 10-meter interval. In the rest of the DMZ, the boundary is marked with MDL Markers. Each side owns six guard posts in the JSA and on more than thirty-five armed guards can be present on each side. The JSA is a venue for exchanges and negotiations between the North and South. All kinds of political and economic issue, cultural conferences and Red Cross meetings are held in the JSA.

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