EXODUS DMC

tour

Seat In Coach

Panmunjeom (JSA) Plus 9 hours



Tour Highlights

Military Armistice Commission Conference Room Military Demarcation Line Axe Murder Site
Bridge of No Return The 3rd Tunnel Dora Observatory Dorasan Station Freedom Bridge


We book this tour through subcontracted out to other tour companies. Therefore the tour quality, conditions and prices by their nature may vary company to company. Please note that the DMZ is a politically sensitive area, and is therefore not always open to tourists.

Arrival complications
Sometimes the unexpected can happen; If you have missed your tour departure, first call the relevant emergency number and speak to our staff who will be happy to help you catchy up with the group. Please note that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred due to you missing your tour’s departure, so please be on time.


Seoul - Panmunjeom (JSA) / The 3rd Tunnel - Seoul (L) 160km

Rules and regulations
*
No tours on Sunday, Monday and public holidays
* Reservation closed 72 working hours before the commencement of the tour
* The tour is available through the authorized agents only
* Seats are strictly first come first serve basis since the tour is fairly limited in size
* The tour operates in English
* Full Names, Passport number, Date of Birth and Nationality must be received at the time of booking
* You must have your passport with you on the tour.
* The tour is not permitted to children of the age 11 or below.
* Visitors are not allowed on an individual basis
* The tour could be cancelled without prior notice by unexpected condition of Panmunjom
* Please confirm departure time as it may vary
* Not allowed to join the tour drunk
* Not allowed to stand or take pictures from the Unification Bridge to the Joint Security Area, and vice versa
* Your mobile phone should be turned off in JSA
* No waving, No shouting, No talking, No gestures, No pointing, and No facial expressions, like smiling or    sticking your tongue out to the North Korean army
* Do not touch anything in the Armistice Commission Building, which belongs to the North (Microphone, flag,
   chair or table)

Every visitor has to use the authorized bus and follow the time and photo regulations.
The tour operator cannot be held responsible for any personal incidents or loss of personal belongings during the tour.
The JSA tour may be cancelled on the day of tour without notice in case of special situations such as military training or an official event at the DMZ.
Koreans will not be able to join this tour by the local law.

Following UNC rules, citizens of the following countries will be requested to submit a scanned copy of their passport (first page with photo) after booking.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian authority, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen


Dress code
All visitors to the UNCMACHA (United Nation Command Military Armistice Commission Headquarters Area)
must display a neat and presentable appearance. To meet this requirement the following standards apply.

The following will not be worn and hair must not be shaggy nor unkempt.
* Any clothing with insulting, profane, provocative or demeaning representations
* Flip-flop sandals, Shower shoes or opened-toe shoes
* Frayed cutoff shorts, gym shorts or shorts that expose the buttocks
* Ripped jeans or trousers which expose undergarments or private parts of the anatomy
* Shorts or skirts which are shorter than knee length
* Any items of outer clothing of a sheer variety or stretch material such as warm-ups pants and leggings
* A T-shirt lettered with profanity, Sports uniforms, logos or athletic clothing of any kind
* Shirts/tops without sleeves or that expose the midriff and tank tops
* Clothing with military-style camouflage, to include hunting apparel
* Oversized clothing or excessively baggy/long pants
* Leather “Biker” vests and leather riding chaps
* Umbrellas (except for during periods of precipitation)
* Tripods (except for authorized media)


Civilian personnel must be appropriately dressed in casual, semi-formal or formal attire. This includes a dress suit, khakis or jean trousers with a Polo-style or formal collared shirts. Shoes must be closed-toe and can be either low quarters or boots. Backpacks, purses and camera bags are permitted, but must remain in the vehicle transporting the individual into the UNC MACHA (United Nation Command Military Armistice Commission Headquarters Area). Jackets and outerwear must be worn not carried.

This document is not meant to cover every possible clothing/appearance situation. In all cases not otherwise specially covered by this policy. The UNCSB-JSA security escort will make decision on acceptability of appearance.


You will join the tour bus this morning at Lotte hotel near Seoul city hall to take on a day long excursion to Panmunjeom, known as JSA (Joint Security Area) in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ). Despite its name, this 4-kilometer strip of land separating the Koreas is the most heavily armed region in the world: Pillboxes, land mines, barbed wire, and tank stoppers line the entire border, and patrolled by thousands of troops on both sides. Symbolizing war and peace, division and unification, the DMZ is a place where time has stood still.

Before being allowed to enter the DMZ, you will have to obtain passport and security clearance at the Unification Bridge, the first control line with sentries. From this point on, photography opportunities are limited. As you reach Camp Bonifas checkpoint, a soldier comes aboard, and you are under constant guard by soldiers. Before commencing JSA tour, you are given a briefing in JSA Visitor Center during which you must sign a document.


 

VISITORS DECLARATION
(UNC REG 551-5)


VISITORS TO THE JOINT SECURITY AREA ARE REQUESTED TO READ AND SIGN THE FOLLOWING:

1. The visits to the Joint Security Area at Panmunjeom will entail entry in to a hostile area and the possibility of
    injury or death as a direct result of enemy action. The Joint Security Area is neutral but divided and is guarded     by United Nations Command military personnel on the one side (South), and Korean People's Army personnel     on the other (North). Guests of the United Nations Command are not permitted to cross the Military     Demarcation Line into the portion of the Joint Security Area under control of the Korean People's Army.     Although being on the alert for unexpected conditions, the United Nations Command, the United States of     America, and the Republic of Korea cannot guarantee the safety of visitors and may not be held accountable     in the event of a hostile enemy act.

2. Visitors must comply with the following instructions:
    a. UNC military personnel will wear appropriate military uniform prescribed by their service for off-duty wear.         Other visitors will be dressed in appropriate civilian attire so as to maintain the dignity of the United         Nations Command.
    b. Prior to enter the Joint Security Area, each visitor (including military personnel) will receive a laminated         guest badge which identifies him/her as an authorized guest of the United Nations Command. Guest badges         must be worn on the upper left side of the outermost garment. Guest badges must be returned in prior to         departure from Camp Bonifas.
    c. Fraternization, including speaking, making gestures or associating with personnel from the Korean People's         Army/Chinese People's Volunteers (KPA/CPV) side, is strictly prohibited. Personnel from the KPA/CPV side         are identified as follows:
        (1) Military Personnel - Brown or Olive drab North Korean uniforms with red arm bands for guards with               weapons and yellow arm bands for Military Armistice Commission personnel.
        (2) Press Personnel - Green arm bands.
        (3) Visitors - Green pieces of cloth at upper pocket.
    d. Visitors will not point, make gestures, or expressions like scoffing, abnormal action which could be used by         the North Korean side as propaganda materials against the United Nations Command.
    e. Visitors will remain in a group from the beginning to the end of the tour and will follow all instructions         from their tour guide.
    f. Firearms, knives, or weapons of any type will not be taken into the JSA. In any case, there is no drinking         alcohol and those who rare consumed alcohol in the last 12 hours will not accepted.
    g. The area and buildings (tan colored) under the military control of the communist side will not be entered for         any reason. Permission of the tour guide must be obtained prior to entry into UNC buildings (blue         colored) in the JSA.
    h. At no time will visitors stand in the way of or interfere with military formations. Facilities and equipment         inside the conference room will not be handled. Photography is permitted in the JSA but is prohibited en         route between Checkpoint A (the entrance to Camp Bonifas), and Checkpoint C (The entrance to the JSA).
     i. If any incidents should occur, remain calm, and follow instructions issued by security personnel.

3. Any questions concerning the above information should be brought to the attention of the tour guide.

DECLARATION

I have read, understood, and will comply with these instructions. If I am accompanied by minor dependants, minors for who I am responsible for the purposes of this tour, my signature constitutes acceptance of the terms of these instructions on their behalf and confirm not to demand compensation for the damage of body and property of mine and minor accompanied as well.

SINGNATURE:
DATE:




Panmunjeom was once a small farming village, where the Armistice was signed that ended Korean War (1950-1953), and today, South and North forces come face-to-face. The JSA, an outside administrative control of South and North Korea, is an 800 meter wide enclave, an almost circular patch of land. Although an Armistice came into effect in July 1953, the two Koreas are still technically in an active state of war. Tensions between the two countries remain high, and the border is patrolled by thousands of troops on both sides.The UN and North Korea sides each operate 6 guard posts. The JSA has been the site of numerous major events since its establishment in 1953, the first of which was the repatriation of POWs. The UNC returned 75,823 POWs, and the Communists repatriated 12,773 UNC POWs.

It was also the locale of the return from North Korea into the free world by 82 crew members of the U.S Navy ship Pueblo on December 23, 1968, exactly 11 months after their capture. That day, they walked one by one across the "Bridge of No Return" at Panmunjon to freedom in South Korea. The USS PUEBLO, which was captured by the North Koreans on January 23, 1968, was the first U.S. Navy ship to be hi-jacked on the high seas by a foreign military force in over 150 years.

On August 18, 1976, the cold calculating aggression of the North Korean communists reached shocking proportions when two American military officers were hacked to death in cold blood with axes in a surprise attack here when United Nations Command work party was pruning a large poplar tree obscuring visibility between two UNC checkpoints. During the fight, Joint Security Force (JSF) company commander Capt. Bonifas of the US Army and Lt. Barrett were killed by a North Korean guard.
Prior to the axe murder incident, the entire area was neutral, where members of either side possessed the freedom of movement within the JSA. The U.S. commanding post in Korea placed its troops on combat-ready status DEFCON 3. In the meantime, the U.S. began to relocate a fighter-bomber squadron and a marine unit from Okinawa to Korea, while ordering 2 carriers, Ranger and Midway, to move into Korean waters. At 7 A.M. on August 21, the UN commanding post, after placing its troops on a status of imminent war conditions DEFCON 2, finished the tree-trimming work. On August 21, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, as the supreme commander of the North Korean People's Army, sent a written apology to the head of the UN command. The talks between the UN command and North Korea began from September 1 and agreed to draw a line dividing the JSA into the south and north, and to take independent responsibility for maintaining their respective area.

On November 23, 1984, a Soviet journalist named Vasily Matusak was on a tour from the other side and he defected to the South. Thirty Korean People's Army troops chased him across the Military Demarcation Line and there was a 40-minute firefight that ended with one Southern and three Northern soldiers were killed.

The 2018 inter-Korean summit took place on 27 April, on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area, between Moon Jaein, President of South Korea, and Kim Jongun, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea. It was the first time since the end of the Korean War in 1953 that a North Korean leader entered the South's territory; President Moon also briefly crossed into the North's territory. The summit was focused on Denuclearization, Establishment of Peace, and Advancement of Inter-Korean Relations.

As you approach JSA, you will notice Peace House providing facilities for non-military and civilian meetings between South and North Korea, and Freedom House for South-North contacts, meetings and Liaison Office. Before entering the Military Armistice Commission Conference room, you will see the security forces from the both sides staring each other down across the border. The South Korean troops wear helmets, black shades, gray shirts and green army pants. Each stands in Taekwondo stance with clenched fists, and they are taut like high-tension wire. You will look on in fear and awe of the closest North Korean border. While inside the Military Armistice Commission Conference Room where a line marking the border runs across the floor and right down the middle of the conference table, experience infamous border that divides two Koreas. The neat lines of microphones and, outside, the low concrete bar mark the exact position of the line of demarcation. Across the border, Panmungak of North Korea stands about 80m north of South Korean Freedom House. The building serves as offices for North Korean guards and is also used to hold propaganda activities.

Next, drive past OP 3 (Observation Post), sometimes called "The Loneliest Outpost in the World". It was once the highlight point where the visitors to have an up-close look at North Korea including the site of the July 27, 1953 armistice, and 72 Hour Bridge. After the enforcement of the MDL however, the North Koreans no longer had a road leading into the JSA and within 72 hours built what has now become known as the "72-Hour Bridge" or "Bridge of 72 Hours.
There are two heavily guarded villages in the DMZ, Daeseongdong farming community in the south and Gijeongdong propaganda village in the north, which face each other across the minefields. Across the MDL in Gijeongdong, North Korean flag that weighs 270kg (30m x 14m) hangs on a 160m-tall jamming tower. In 1981, the South Korean government built a 99.8m tall flagpole with a 130kg (18m x 12m) South Korean Flag in Daeseongdong. The North Korean government responded by building what was then the tallest flagpole in the world, in what some have called the "flagpole war". The flagpole was superseded as the world's tallest, following the construction of the flagpole in Baku's National Flag Square at 162m. Both flagpoles were topped in 2011 by the Dusanbe Flagpole in Tajikistan at 165m.

The Bridge of No Return, in the middle of which runs through the Military Demarcation Line. Korean War Prisoners crossed this bridge at their choice of destination. If they choose to cross, they would never be allowed to return, hence the name.
Despite the turbulent past, both sides continue to meet at the Conference Room. In gazing the Bridge of No Return and Axe murder site, you will be profoundly impressed at the stark reality and immense tragedy of divided Korea.


With time for lunch outside DMZ, the 3rd tunnel tour continues.

The 3rd Tunnel Tour

Rules and Regulations
* No tour on Monday and public holidays
* Full Name, Passport number and Nationality must be received at the time of booking
* You are required to bring your passport on this tour
* Picture taking is prohibited upon boarding the tour bus at Imjingak
* Visitors are not allowed on an individual basis, it is necessary to join the group
* A private bus is allowed only if 30 or more passengers travelling together on the same bus

Please note
* Depending on crowd size in the tunnel, the order of the visit may alter
* Walking the tunnels are not required, you may opt out and choose to stay on the bus, exhibition room or
   souvenir store
* This tour involves an extensive amount of walking, and is only recommended for the visitors in good
   physical condition. This tour is not suitable for the visitors who suffer from claustrophobia, those with    limited mobility, and who utilize a wheelchair
* There are two entrances to the Southern side of the tunnel, one via tram and one that must be descended
   and ascended on foot. The tram is much easier, but not always available. The walk takes 10 minutes each    way.


Imjingak is the furthest north point in the area than you can go freely. It is a park with an array of monuments and statues that speak to the Korean War (1950-1953).

One such monument is Mangbaedan, a memorial site where displaced North Koreans pray for their ancestors. Near Mangbaedan is the Freedom Bridge, and was an important site where 12,773 prisoners of war returned to freedom. This short, sturdy wooden structure ends at a barricade, which embodies the North. The altar and the bridge now serve as places of remembrance for displaced families, and the millions of bright colored ribbons tied to the fence have messages of hope, dreams and wishes for unification between South and North Korea.

You can also see a derelict locomotive engine shot full of bullet holes and its bent wheels - not particularly special in any way other than it shows the destruction of war. Having been left in the DMZ since bombs derailed it during the Korean War; it was cleaned up and moved here in 2009. There is a collection of stones from 86 battlefields in 64 countries known as the Peace Stones that have witnessed suffering and grief of war.

Then, you board a tour bus to continue on to the Demilitarized Zone which straddles the South and North Korean border. A 4km wide buffer of land stretches the breadth of the Korean peninsula. Total 1,292 signboards of the Military Demarcation Line were established and 696 of which are controlled by the U.N. Forces while 596 are under the control of North Korea and China. Before being allowed to enter the DMZ, you will have to obtain passport and security clearance at the Unification Bridge, the first control line with sentries and photo opportunities will be limited.

The 3rd tunnel is one of the four infiltration tunnels dug by the North to facilitate an invasion of the South. Discovered on October 17, 1978, it is a 1,635m long, 2m high and 2m wide, and could have accommodated 30,000 soldiers per hour in what was apparently designed for a surprise attack on Seoul. The tunnel runs through bedrock at a depth of about 73m below ground; 435m of which are found in the South over the Military Demarcation Line (MDL). It is designed at a three thousandth angle with northern side lower than southern side, so that water does not stagnate inside tunnel. After ducking and crouching your way 265m through the tunnel, you will reach one of the cement walls with iron door near the MDL that will prevent you from going any further north and where you peep through a small window at a barricade, just to see another barricade in the distance. You can clearly see the drill marks for dynamite all pointing toward the South. This finding, along with other clues, clearly affirmed their construction.

After exploring the tunnel, climb back out of the tunnel and make your way to the DMZ Exhibition Hall for a unique insight into the Korean War and model of soldiers digging the tunnel, equipment used by the North, model of Panmunjeom (Joint Security Area), a timeline of major North Korean provocations over the South since 1950, and photographs of the historical events about Korea's division. And time for a short video including old film that takes you back in time to the signing of the armistice and the creation of the DMZ.

Next stop is Dora Observatory. As you approach, you will see an eye catching slogan printed up on the wall "End of separation, beginning of unification". The observatory looks across the land north of Demilitarized Zone, the road and train track stretched side by side ahead into the North Korea, bare mountains, treeless hills, watchtower, North Korean propaganda village and Kaeseong Industrial Complex. Financed and managed for the most part by South Korea, the project was launched in 2004 as a gauge of the volatile security situation on the peninsula, and South Korean companies could manufacture their products using North Korean labour. It once employed 803 South Korean and 54,764 North Korean workers, but this jointly run Industrial complex is totally shutdown as of February 10, 2016 in response to North Korea's nuclear test.

You will also tour the Dorasan Station, the last railway station in South Korea before the North Korean border. This station drew world attention when President Bush visited here in February 2002. On December 11, 2007, freight trains began traveling north past this station into North Korea, however, on December 1, 2008, the North Korean government closed the border crossing. The station is heavily guarded and signs are up showing the future destination of Pyeongyang in North Korea. The milepost "Seoul 56km/Pyeongyang 205km" still stands from the time when trains could still cross past this station and into North Korea.


Remarks

Bring your valid passport
Pick up service not available
Tour starts and ends at President hotel located near the City Hall
Please confirm departure time as it varies depending on the JSA tour handling company


Tour fare
125,000 Won (Approx. USD 125) per person

Payment
Full payment required at the time of booking

Cancellation Policy
Cancellation notice received one day prior to departure : 50%
No Show : 100%