Area III hosting DMZ trip for South Koreans
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — The U.S. Army in central South Korea will take two busloads of South Korean adults and high school students for a tour near Korea’s Demilitarized Zone on Saturday.
While the U.S. military has sponsored tours of the area for South Koreans before, Saturday’s is the first for the Army’s Area III Support Activity.
It plans to bus about 90 people to the Joint Security Area, also known as the “truce village,” where a cease-fire was negotiated, ending major hostilities in the Korean War of 1950-53.
To make the trip are about 50 adults from a local civic organization, the Korea Freedom League Chonan chapter, and some 30 students from the Chonan Chung Ang High School. Camp Humphreys also will send four U.S. soldiers and another four KATUSA soldiers, or Korean troops assigned to the U.S. Army.
“We think … the young students and … regular Korean civilians need an opportunity to go up there and take a look at … the reality of the JSA area, and what we are facing with North Korea,” said Yu Pom-tong, the Army’s Area III community relations officer.
Some students don’t know about the Korean War and why it happened, he said, “and what’s the current status between North Korea and South Korea. JSA is the place you can realize how serious it is.”
The buses are to leave Camp Humphreys at 9 a.m. and return around 9 p.m., Yu said.
“What we are hoping to accomplish is to give more Koreans the opportunity to go to the JSA,” said Susan Barclay, Area III public affairs chief.