Paju_The 3rd Tunnel

Another Demarcation Line underground

DMZ Tour Bus, which started from Imjingak, stops in front of Tongildaegyo Bridge. Soon, a soldier climbs on the bus to check IDs. A fleeting tension passes by before the bus starts again to pleasantly drive over Imjingang River, which gives me a somewhat winning feeling. From the landscape seen through the bus window and still holding the look of nature, I feel fortunate to witness an area with almost no footprints of men and receive a message of hope, rather than unrest, that the ecosystem preserved on this land is a precious resource not owned by any other country in the world and its potential is infinite.

In order to join a tour of the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, that can only be accessible by passing through a checkpoint, you purchase a ticket for DMZ Security Tour at the Imjingak ticket office. You get on a tour bus and move with a group through a course that includes Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station, and Unification Village.

Discovered in 1978, the 3rd Tunnel was built by North Korea for southward invasion. It is 12 km away from Munsan and 52 km from Seoul. When you arrive at the tunnel, you will first watch a 10-minute video on the Korean War and the tunnels at DMZ Theater. Through a 2-m wide, 2-m high and 1.6-km long tunnel, about 30,000 troops can be transported in an hour, according to studies. The inner mine of the tunnel still has traces of explosions that took place when drilling the tunnel and, when you reach its end, you can see the Military Demarcation Line on the ground. Be cautious on your way back after viewing the tunnel as the path features a steep upward slope. Before you enter, make sure to listen carefully to the instructions and experience according to your physical capabilities. For families accompanying children or senior citizens, I recommend to use the monorail, which runs up to the inclined point of the tunnel.

- A ticket for DMZ Security Tour may be purchased at the Imjingak ticket office. There are two tour courses; A Course takes about 3 hours to tour Imjingak, the 3rd Tunnel, Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station, and Unification Village while B Course takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to tour Imjingak, the tomb of Mr. Heo Jun, Haemaru Village, the 3rd Tunnel, and Dora Observatory before returning to Imjingak.

Written and photos by Park Hee-eun


- DMZ Security Tour courses move in groups on tour buses, which run at specific intervals from 9:20 AM to 3:00 PM on weekdays and to 3:30PM on weekends. Additional buses are operated on holidays with many tourists so make sure to inquire in advance before the visit.

- Admission fees are 9,200 KRW for adults, 7,000 KRW for students and 6,200 KRW for senior citizens. When using the monorail, the fees are 12,200 KRW for adults, 9,500 KRW for students and 7,700 KRW for senior citizens.

- When purchasing a ticket and entering the restricted area for civilians on a tour bus, an identification verification process is conducted so make sure to bring a proper form of identification.


  • The 3rd Tunnel

    Address/ 210-358, Je3ttanggul-ro Gunnae-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do

    Contact / 031-954-0303

    Closed on / Mondays, holidays during the week

    Note/ Access restricted for personally owned vehicles, viewing possible through tours related to DMZ