Access to tourists may be granted as early as beginning of 2019
A view of Panmunjom from the South Korean side shows the absence of the South and North Korean guards that were present before the demilitarization of the DMZ’s Joint Security Area (JSA).
South and North Korea’s joint verification of the removal of outposts and firearms from the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom was completed on schedule on Oct. 27, leading to expectations that civilians and tourists will be able to access the area freely as early as the beginning of November.
“During the two days from Oct. 26 to 27, South Korea, North Korea and the UN Command carried out a joint verification of the measures to demilitarize the JSA. Nothing unusual was found during the joint verification,” an official from South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 28.
outh Korean military officials are seen inspecting the underground entrance to a North Korean guard post in the DMZ’s Joint Security Area (JSA). (provided by the Ministry of National Defense)
The decision to demilitarize the JSA was made in the Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA), which was signed on Sept. 19. In accordance with this agreement, South and North Korea worked on clearing mines from Oct. 1 to 20, removed all firearms and military personnel from five North Korean guard posts and four South Korean guard posts in the JSA through Oct. 25 and verified this work along with the UN Command from Oct. 26 to 27.
In order to enable civilians and tourists to travel freely in the area, South Korea, North Korea and the UN Command are planning to continue setting up new guard posts and adding surveillance equipment.
“We believe that free travel will become possible as early as next month and within the year at the latest,” the Defense Ministry official said.
Following the demilitarization of the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the DMZ
By Yoo Kang-moon, senior staff writer
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