With news that North Korea, South Korea, and the UN Command are demilitarizing the JSA, we bring you photos of Panmunjom Truce Village over the years. Updated!
In recent days the DPRK and ROK together with the United Nations Command (UNC) have carried out disarmament of the Joint Security Area (JSA) at the DMZ, including the removal of security posts, soldiers, and weapons. According to Yonhap News, discussions are underway about how to allow tourists into the JSA.
We are working with our partners in Korea to see how this will affect our tours to the JSA and expect it to be a new experience. We'll keep you posted on the Koryo Tours Blog and across our social media.
In the mean time, check out this photo of the new JSA uniform from Koryo GM Simon Cockerell's Instagram (@simonkoryo).
In the mean time, below is short photo essay on the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and Panmunjom Armistice Village 'then and now'. The photos were taken by Koryo Tours' founder Nicholas Bonner over two decades of travel to the DPRK with one addition from the extended Koryo family.
The Panmunjom Armistice Signing Hall as it appeared on July 27, 1953 shortly after 10:00 AM on the final day of the Korean War, and with a group of western tourists as it appears today. The armistice provided for a cessation of the savage fighting which ravaged the peninsula between 1950-53, but this 'cease-fire' has never been replaced by a formal peace treaty.
A Korean People's Army guide at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), or Armistice Line, dividing north and south. The DMZ extends two kilometers on each side from this line.
A view from the DPRK pavilion overlooking the MDL, the small concrete raise bisecting the six huts in the foreground. The southern side administers the blue huts, while the northern side administers the silver ones.
The road north from Munsan, South Korea along the 'neutral zone' established for UN negotiators to travel safely to armistice talks at Panmunjom and Kaesong in North Korean territory (likely 1953), and today's road south from Kaesong to Panmunjom with road sign reading 'Seoul 70 km'.
See our account of former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visiting the DMZ.
This post was originally filed on a Thursday. 'Turn Back the Clock Thursday' brings you 'then and now' views of Korea from more than two decades of Koryo Tours' trips to the DPRK and images in the public domain.
Updated 14 November 2018