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Panmunjom is located about 60 km northwest of Seoul along with the United Nation Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC). Originally, the area used to be called “Neolmun-ri”. However, the area was designated as a new location for armistice talks in October, 1951, and the name of the area was written in Chinese as Panmunjom for the convenience of Chinese representatives.

As of today, Panmunjom refers to the Joint Security Area (JSA), a 400m x 800m rectangular area, set up on the Military Demarcation Line within the UNCMAC compound and reserved for talks between the United Nations Command (UNC) and its Communist counterparts (North Korea and China).

When the JSA was first created, UNCMAC officials from both sides were allowed to move freely within the Area. However, that is not the case anymore with the enforcement of the dividing line (or the MDL) within the JSA in the wake of the ‘Axe Murder Incident of 18th August, 1976.

Although its official address is Jo-San Lee, Kun-Nae District, Paju city, Kyoungki province, the JSA has been under the control of United Nations Command in accordance with the Korean Armistice Agreement.

Panmunjom in 1950s
A complete view of Panmunjom
An airplane view of Panmunjom

Including the preliminary meetings for the South-North Red Cross Talks in 1979, JSA has become the site of various talks and dialogues between the South and the North. We hope that the JSA continues to serve as the ground for inter-Korean cooperation and exchanges, contributing to mutual reconciliation.

Summary of Panmunjom-JSA