Can Koreans visit the DMZ?

Me and a Korean friend want to visit the DMZ but he seems to think that only tourists are allowed, does anyone know if this is the case? I could probably find out by googling some but I decided to refer to you guys first!

Re: Can Koreans visit the DMZ?

Unless they've made some drastic changes regarding visiting the DMZ there should be no problems for your Korean friend to visit the DMZ. At the DMZ there is a visiting area and some buildings with binoculars at the top where you can look across at the DMZ.

Re: Can Koreans visit the DMZ?

Ae you talking about Panmunjeon? I went two years ago but my wife was not allowed-no Koreans allowed there at that time. Maybe thigns have changed? You can go right to the border, however and be right at the DMZ. They have actually put rides for kids there and there is a Popeyes and stuff like that. South Korea has made this place like a park. I forget the name of it that area but it is on the west side-north west of Seoul. On the west side there is an observatory on top of the moutain as well but the little park thing is better. On the east side there is also an observatory that looks over the DMZ and into North Korea. Very cool as well.  We actually drove all along the furthest north road possible in South Korea and took every road left we could but that always put as at a base and that was that. Very cool drive, though. Good luck.

Re: Can Koreans visit the DMZ?

Koreans can go to the boarder of the DMZ and look across the boarder. There are a few places to go.


The Observation building in Paju - This place, I have not been, has a platform on the top of the building where you can look across to North Korea.


Imjingak - This is a park and small carnival place that is set up as a memorial for the soldiers of all the countries and the families that were "left behind" in North Korea. You can get here very easily and you don't have to do anything special to go here. I have been here several times and it is very interesting. I recommend going here sometime. It isn't the DMZ, but it does have a lot of important war things and you can view the DMZ from here.

Panmunjeom - This is what a lot of people mean when they say "DMZ." It is inside the DMZ and is shared by both the United Nations and North Korea. Technically, this is Not in South Korea. This is where you can actually see North Korean soldiers and you can breifly technically be inside North Korea. I have been once and it was fun. Most foreigners can go, but for South Koreans, it is a little different. First, unless the rules have changed, you cannot go with her. She can go there, but there is a 6 month waiting list and she has to get a big record check to make sure she isn't going to defect to North Korea. Yeah, it is a big deal, but still very interesting. You can go as long as you sign up for a tour 3 days ahead of time. You can only go by tour, and it costs something like 70,000won per person.

There are other areas like the tunnels that the North Korean army dug to try and invade South Korea. Those are interesting, but very small. I think there are a few other observation areas along the DMZ as well, but not as famous as the ones above. BTW, most of the things to see are in Paju City, north of Seoul.

Good luck and if you decide to go, take pictures and buy some gifts! They have North Korean Blueberry wine at Panmunjeom. People say it is one of the most powerful alcohol experiences you can have.