What Is A Jsa Orientation Tour The Joint Security Area (JSA) is a unique space within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), jointly shared by North and South Korea, under the supervision of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC). This area comprises buildings used for negotiations and holds historical significance due to its bridges.
1. What is the JSA Tour, and where did it originate?
The JSA Tour offers a chance to explore the DMZ and the JSA. It was initially introduced in March 1963 by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
2. Why should you consider taking a JSA Tour?
A JSA Tour provides a distinctive opportunity to venture into the buffer zone between two nations still technically at war. It holds particular significance for the USFK community, as it is maintained by community members and exists thanks to the intervention of the United Nations Armed Forces, including various branches of the United States Armed Forces.
3. Is there any reason to be concerned about safety during a JSA tour?
The JSA is paradoxically both the most dangerous and the most peaceful area in Korea. Visitors are well-protected by UNCMAC forces, but it is crucial to remain respectful and mindful of the fact that you are in the buffer zone between two nations with unresolved conflict.
4. How long is a JSA tour?
A JSA Tour typically lasts about five hours. If departing from USAG Humphreys, the journey takes approximately two and a half hours, with a stop at Osan Air Base and lunch at a nearby restaurant. The entire tour, including travel time, usually spans ten hours from USAG Humphreys.
5. What is the dress code for a JSA tour?
Military policy mandates that all visitors maintain a “neat and presentable appearance.” This entails refraining from wearing ripped jeans, flip-flop sandals, clothing with offensive text, sports or athletic attire (including gym shorts or track pants), sleeveless shirts, tank tops, or excessively baggy clothing. It is essential to note that visitors are not allowed to wear military uniforms. Further details will be provided when you register for a tour.
6. Will North Koreans observe visitors during the tour?
North Koreans watch visitors to the JSA from the Panmungak Building using telescopes, which explains the dress code and the prohibition of military uniforms. While tourists may occasionally spot North Korean military personnel at the border, such sightings have become less frequent since the onset of the pandemic. North Korea also conducts tours of the JSA from their side of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).
7. What is the Orientation video?
Part of the JSA Tour includes watching an Orientation video that delves into Korean history, particularly the Korean War, and provides insights into the JSA’s significance.
8. What is Freedom House?
Freedom House, situated in Panmunjom on the South Korean side of the MDL, is South Korea’s northernmost facility. It plays a vital role in fostering inter-Korean communication and facilitating discussions between the Red Cross Society of North Korea and South Korea.
9. What buildings are present in the JSA?
The JSA encompasses seven temporary buildings designed for conferences. North Korea administers four of these buildings, while the UNC manages the three blue buildings—T1, T2, and T3, with “T” representing “temporary.” T1 serves as the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) meeting room, and T2 is the primary conference room for the Military Armistice Commission. T3 is used for lower-priority MAC meetings and is the only building open to tourists.
10. What is the significance of the Commemorative Tree?
The Commemorative Tree symbolizes unity and cooperation between the two Korean nations and was planted during a historic summit in 2018.
11. Tell me more about the Blue Bridge.
The Blue Bridge is a footbridge known for the meeting held between the North Korean and South Korean leaders in 2018. It also serves as the route for NNSC personnel commuting to T1, T2, and T3.
12. What can you share about the tunnel?
Among the four tunnels under the border between North Korea and South Korea, the Third Tunnel, known as the Third Infiltration Tunnel, is the only one open to the public as a tourist attraction. Visitors can walk all the way to the tunnel’s end. South Korea discovered this tunnel in 1978, and it is estimated that up to 30,000 soldiers could pass through it in an hour.
13. Why are there occasional closures of the JSA?
The DMZ and JSA may temporarily close due to unforeseen circumstances, training exercises, or special visits. For updates on closure dates and other information, refer to the DMZ and JSA website: https://www.panmuntour.go.kr/web/comn/main/eng/main.do.
14. What is the most captivating aspect of a JSA tour that one wouldn’t learn from a museum or book?
A JSA Tour offers a unique opportunity to experience the sorrow and tragedy of the division in Korea firsthand. Upon arrival in the JSA area, visitors can sense that the two countries are still technically at war, a stark contrast to the atmosphere elsewhere in South Korea. Despite being only 60 km north of bustling Seoul, the JSA Tour transports you to the world’s tiniest and quietest village, where the only sounds are the songs of rare birds found nowhere else in Korea.
Another intriguing facet of the experience is visiting building T2, where you can step into North Korea. However, it’s essential to remember that North Korean security cameras are installed inside T2, monitoring visitor activities.
For any inquiries or additional information regarding JSA Tours from Camp Humphreys, please contact Edward Kwon:
- Edward Kwon (Tae Yeon Kwon)
- JSA Tour Desk Staff
- Mobile: 010.5789.2047
- Tel: 031.692.3088/3089
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: USO Camp Humphreys – Sentry Village (P-301)
- Tour schedules: Tue, Wed, Fri, and Sat at 10 am (start times may vary)
- Price: $95 per person