Monday, August 9, 2010

The famous JSA: Joint Security Area of Panmunjeom

Panmunjeom is a village on the de facto border between South and North Korea, where the Armistice Agreement that halted the 1950- 53 Korean War was signed.

The building, Panmungak, where the armistice was signed, still stands, though it is on the northern side of the Military Demarcation Line, which runs through the middle of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

It is considered one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.

The Joint Security Area (JSA) in the truce village is used by the two Koreas for diplomatic engagements and was also the site of military negotiations between the United Nations Command and North Korea.

The JSA has been the site of numerous major events since its establishment in 1953, the first of which was the repatriation of prisoners of war (POWs) after the cessation of hostilities, across the Bridge of No Return.

The JSA consists of several blue buildings, some of which straddle the border between the two Koreas. In fact, it is where most talks between the two countries occur.

Inside one of these buildings is the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) an imaginary line that literally runs through a large rectangular conference table situated in the building.

Each year 100,000 tourists visit the area through several tourism companies and a U.S. military organization.


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