The north korean border


Panmunjon, the only point where the north and south korean border can be technically crossed. This unique place in the world is also known as the Joint Security Area (JSA).

Built at the end of the korean war, this complex is the only place in Korea where south korean and north korean soldiers will directly face each other. If the atmosphere in Panmunjon seems calm and quiet, every soldier constantly keeps in mind that any small incident could have dramatic consequences as north korean soldiers behavior is considered as unpredictable.

Therefore, if visiting the JSA is possible from both north and south side (except for korean citizens), any contact and gestures toward the opposit side of the bord is stricly forbidden.

The three blue houses on the border are composed of a main room with two doors: one in the south and one in the north. The room is accessible by both parties. However, both armies should never stay in the same room at the same moment. Therefore, once entering the building, a guard will systematically lock the opposit door and guard it to make sure that no one will try to open it until the visit ends.

It is said that all south korean soldiers in the JSA are Taekwondo  black belt, and the position they are taking in service is inspired from this sport. Their facial expression is constantly neutral with large sunglasses. As for the north korean soldiers, they carry only light weapons as rifles are forbidden in both sides. Finally, the two soldiers facing the corners of the blue house are taking these positions in order to keep an eye on the north korean movements while hiding one of their hand to discreetly communicate with their partners in case of problem.




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