The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is the most heavily militarized border in the world.
The DMZ is the area two kilometres either side of the North/South Korean border, occupying a total area of 64 million Pyeong (or around 50,156 acres). Along this border bisecting Korea stand almost 2 million armed soldiers from both sides. Here you can see the historical sites that break the heart of so many Koreans.
The DMZ is a quiet and calm place that has inadvertently preserved the ecology by severely restricting human access for the past four decades. It has become famous for being home to scarce flora and wildlife. Seen from a distance the DMZ appears intimidating, but once you become accustomed you actually find it one of the safest and secure ecology attractions for tourists.
One of the main attractions within DMZ has been an inspection of the North’s third tunnel. North Korea was reluctant to give up their military ambitions, and have tried tunnelling into the South on several occasions.
Four of these tunnels have been discovered and explored (more may yet exist), with the third tunnel being open to public tours. These areas are still so politically sensitive that no photography of the tunnels is allowed.
HISTORY OF THE DMZ
Technically the DMZ does not belong to either North or South Korea, though is occupied by troops from both sides. It is a 4 kilometres wide, 250 kilometre long stretch of land running roughly along the 38th parallel. This land was divided roughly in the same way when each half of the country was administered by the USSR and USA at the end of the Second World War. This same area marks where front line was at the end of the North verses South Korean War. Both sides agreed to step back 2 kilometres from the front line when they signed the armistice, hence the creation of the 4km DMZ.
Despite DMZ's name the Demilitarized Zone is ironically the single most heavily militarized boarder in the world. Technically the two sides are still at war and many conflicts and casualties have occurred over the years. Some of the islands and waters on either side of the border are still under dispute.
Highlight of Tour Spot
In essence, any DMZ tour is to experience the reality of division and to find the hope of future. The highlight of the tour is to explore a tunnel dug by North Korea. The tunnel was discovered by South Army as the third one among four tunnels, hence the name “The Third Tunnel”. It is a surreal experience to find a 1,635 meter tunnel at the depth of 73 meters underground. The infiltration tunnel was made by dangerous manual excavation work with dynamites, shovels and pick axes. The tunnel is located only four kilometers away from JSA, where the representatives of North Korea repeat their version of peace and reunification. The other tourism spots include an observatory and a train station. The observatory sits on the top of a hill, from which you can observe the north area including the “Gaesung Industrial Complex”, the “Propaganda Village”, a huge statue of North Leader Kim Il-sung, etc. The train station is the northern most one of South Korea and it is physically connected to the North railway system, which again is linked to the Trans Eurasian Railway Network. Regardless of the frustrating diplomacy surrounding the Korean Peninsula, here you can find a hope to go to Europe by TRS (Trans-Siberian Railway).
DMZ Tour 2 Korea arranges shuttle pick-up from your hotel in Seoul, and make sure you have everything you need, including your passports and documentation.
- Imjingak Park
- The Unification Bridge (ID check)
- Dora Bbservatory
- The Third Infiltration Tunnel (the tunnel of aggression).
- Dorasan Train station
- Pass by Unification Village
JSA is the only area where the South and North can meet together without a wall or a barbed-wire fence at disarmed/unarmed state. It is also a special district without an administrative jurisdiction for the South and North parties.
JSA is the only area that is under the jurisdiction of the U.N. Emergency Force by ROK army (around 350 personnel) and the U.S. Military (around 250 personnel) out of 155 miles within the ceasefire line.
The Joint security Area (JSA) lies within the DMZ
Within the JSA; the North of the Military Demarcation Line, 20 centimeters in width, Panmoonjeom is located where the summit of South and North Korea and the military armistice conference took place.
Highlight of Tour Spot
JSA is the only portion of the DMZ, where South and North Korean soldiers stand face-to-face. You can feel the heightened tension of the most hostile area in the world.
Technically speaking, two Koreas are still at the state of war. JSA, or Panmunjeom in Korean, is the official conference area between the two parties. It has been renowned since an armistice agreement was signed there in 1953.
At the UNC Guard Post Three outside of the conference room, you would find yourself surrounded by North Korea at your three sides. There you can take photos of the north mountains and villages at the nearest distance.
You will eventually pass by the focal point of the most brutal incident of JSA, which is called the “Axe Murder Incident” of 1976. Two officers of US army were axed to death under a huge popular tree. The tree had to be pruned because it was in between two UNC guard posts, blocking the line of view between the two points. The officers were carrying shot guns on their waist belts, but they did not use them to be brutally murdered with the axes for the tree trimming job. This is only one episode of the sixty year old tragedy of JSA.
Visit JSA and face in person the longest and bitter confrontation of the world history, still going on in the conference theater.
We arrange shuttle pick-up from your Seoul hotel, and make sure you have everything you need, including your passports and documentation.
- The Unification bridge (ID check)
- Slideshow and briefing at Camp Bonifas and tour of JSA
- Joint Security Area
- Freedom House
- Military Armistice Commission Conference Room
- UN Guard Post 3
- Bridge of no Return
- Imjingak Park Lunch(Bibimbap)
You’ll have the experience walking thru an under ground tunnel designed to fit 500 people and a tank, created by the North Korean side for the purpose of invading the South. You will also be able to visit the Dorasan station that will be the gateway to connect Korea to Europe.
A great opportunity to see a North Korean Soldier up and close! This 3rd observatory point is the closest, most exciting exploration experience allowing you to see the North Korean town. We will also visit the actual location where the horrible incident of the “Axe murder” took place.