The DMZ War

1953 to Today

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South Korea Develops Technology to Detect North Korean Infiltrators in DMZ
Picture from NK News

This story may remind American DMZ vets of various detection systems they used. Here's video of the AN/TPS-25 Ground Surveillance Radar. Share your experiences with detection technology below...

From NK News"The South Korean military has signed a contract to develop unmanned surveillance sensors aimed at strengthening surveillance capabilities in the DMZ and the surrounding area.

While the development of these sensors would help to ensure the safety of troops stationed near the DMZ, a military expert said that such an effort must be undertaken in parallel with efforts to lower tensions with North Korea.

Hanwha Thales, a domestic defense manufacturer, has signed a 3.6 billion-won ($3.1-million) contract to help in the development of these sensors with South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

A DAPA representative told NK News that the sensors will greatly improve South Korea’s capacity to detect North Korean troops attempting to infiltrate and potentially endanger South Korean lives."

See information and video below of the North Korean attack the prompted this move by the South...

Sec. Of State Kissinger Joked About '76 DMZ Murder of US Officers by North Korea

Thought American Response Was Too Weak: Newly Declassified Records

Video (Thermal Imagery) of the Korean DMZ Mine Blast

 Click on the Image

See Link Below for Interesting Photos on the Story

See photos of the location and investigation here.

2 ROK Troops Maimed by NK Mines in Deliberate DMZ Attack: Seoul

South Resumes Loudspeaker Propaganda Broadcasts

Watch for Our Updates this Week
ROKs Investigate Site (MoND via News Agencies)
Many readers of this site will recognize the tactic: North Korean infiltrators plant a booby trap around a fence gate used by South Korean forces inside the DMZ, about 1,440 feet south of the MDL. One ROK NCO lost his legs in the initial blast, a second sergeant lost his leg trying to assist the first victim.

South Korean officials claim this is the first such attack using box mines since 1967, reports the NY Times (click on the picture above for the story), so the ROK soldiers may have been less than vigilant about checking their patch for mines (a process many of our readers will recall). 

South Korea reports its investigation [assisted by its US and other allies on the UNC] reveals the mines were placed recently and not deposited there by natural forces such as soil drift or flooding. [Remarkably, the Times reports claims by both Korea governments that infiltration of the DMZ stopped "in the 1970s," a falsehood even a quick search of the Times own clippings would likely reveal.]

The South Korean military promised "severe retaliation" for the attack, which so far appears to be the resumption of South Korean propaganda broadcasts into the DMZ (another memory for many readers of this site); see the CNN report here. The South Korean loudspeakers were shut down years ago, and North Korea has threatened to attack them if they start up again.

To learn more about mines in the Korean DMZ and their status in the Obama Administration's effort to bar use of mines by the US military, see our report here.

Inside the Korean DMZ: From the North's Side

CNN Report + Video

Many DMZ Vets Will Recall When a 

North Korean Threat 

to Nuke the US Was Unthinkable 

CNN Image: Click for the Story & Video

Controversy over Associated Press relationship with North Korean propaganda ministry is detailed by Free Beacon here; DMZ War is quoted in article that AP should disclose its deal with North Korea and its reports from reporters chosen by Pyongyang should come with a warning label...

President Obama Pledges to "Respond" to Sony Hack/Threat

But Even When Pyongyang Killed 31 Americans, US Response Was "Mush"

See How President Nixon Responded to Downing of US EC-121 Here

Did North Korea Infiltrate Agents into the US to Attack Nuke Plants & Cities?
Can Pyongyang Launch Terror Attacks in America?
Who Is the American Serviceman Who Instructed North Korean Special Forces?
See The Documents We Uncovered Here

DMZ Tours, "Dark Tourism" and the 

State of North/South Relations

Interesting analysis on the state of DMZ tours -- "a dangerous zoo" -- and their relation to South Korean attitudes toward reunification... The article reports that DMZ tours began in 1963 -- do any DMZ War readers remember them back then or before? One thing missing in this report, and a factor that probably played a role in those early tours, was the desire of South Korean residents (as opposed to fast-spending foreign tourists) to visit the 'Z to see their former homeland where loved ones often still lived, and/or honor their ancestors buried there.

“In 2006, South Korea rebranded the DMZ the Peace and Life Zone (PLZ).Untouched for decades, the area’s biodiversity and eco-credentials are now being pushed to the fore. Just pause and read that again: Peace and Life. In reference to what is effectively a scar severing the shared reality of a once united country; the last remnant of the Cold War that has divided families for generations and created one of the most extreme states of inequality on a national scale. As public relations go, it’s pretty audacious, like trying to reposition climate change as a way to get a better tan.” Read the rest here.

Korean DMZ, November 1974:

First North Korean Infiltration Tunnel Discovered

Presidents Meet
USN Cmdr. Robert M. Ballinger, KIA
In Nov. 1974, a South Korean DMZ patrol noticed steam rising from the ground. Investigators soon uncovered a North Korean tunnel leading to the South. U.S. Navy Commander Robert Ballinger from the UN Command's Armistice Affairs Division (who had been awarded the Silver Star for heroism in Vietnam years before) and a South Korean officer were killed by a DPRK booby-trap while examining the structure. Three more tunnels would be found in coming years; others are believed to exist. (North Korean tunnel experts have also been suspected of helping construct tunnels in the Middle East for terrorists to attack Israel, see the story on our sister site here.)

Days later, South Korean President Park Chung-hee and U.S. President Gerald Ford (along with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger), met in the Korean "Blue House" to discuss the security situation and other issues (Park had narrowly escaped a North Korean assassination attempt months before, see video here). Read part of the declassified transcript of the meeting below.

Despite the grim circumstances, Park and Kissinger managed to joke about what might be found while digging near the tunnel -- check out the last page.

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See What's New

Technology in the Korean DMZ: Then and Now

US Military Defectors to North Korea

Declassified Documents

Did Army Red Tape Contribute to a

Deadly 1994 Helicopter Shoot Down Over North Korea?

See DMZ War's Exclusive Report Here

Are North Korean Tunnel Masters Advising Hamas?

North Korea Sending Missiles to Hamas, Iran and Hezbollah?

Does President Obama Want to Strip GIs in Korea of their Defensive Land Mines?

DMZ Incidents
"The Bridge of No Return:" 1984

Veterans: The Video Below Explains the Korea Defense Service Media (KDSM)

To Get Your KDSM in 3 Easy Steps, Click Here

British Troops in the DMZ Conflict:

Brits in Korea 1956 & Imjin River. See it here


Click Here to Learn about North Korea's "Human Bombs"

1962 on the DMZ:

a More Dangerous and Eventful Year than Many Realize

Read About the Incidents in the transcript of tense MAC meeting.

Review the declassified intel file on a North Korean kidnap team.

Long Before the 2013 North Korean Detention of Merrill Newman,

There Were the Ashley Five

Americans Confirmed Alive in North Korean Hands But Never Returned

Newman Was Returned, They Never Were

An Intriguing Connection Between the Incidents
Gilbert Ashley & Hidemaro Ishada: Never Returned by North Korea
Gilbert Ashley & Hidemaro Ishada: Never Returned by North Korea
LA Times article on secret guerrilla unit behind Pyongyang's detention of Merrill Newman; includes our analysis of North Korean reaction... See the previously secret US documents on this unit here.

Click Here For Secret Documents on US Guerrilla Operations

 Linked to Korean War Vet Merrill Newman's Detention in North Korea

Plus Why Pyongyang Would Imprison an American Senior Citizen

Many US Files About Korean War Special Operations During and After the Korean War Remain Classified

We've Been Trying to Get Them for Years

Below is a Still-Classified Report from 1955 Concerning a Follow-On Unit Related to the One Merrill Newman Served in

RoK Troops Track North Korean Infiltration Team (Nov. '68)
The US Military Provided Air Support and Combat Cameraman
Find Out What Happened and See the Video Here
  Our sponsor: "American Trophies," the acclaimed book on US POWs in North Korea
Previously Secret '59 Army Intel Report on NK Infiltration Tactics
Other interesting sites:
Secrets of North Korea:
The Cold War and Cold War Recognition Certificate:
Learn about American prisoners who never returned from the Korean War: