June 06, 2023

At Panmunjom, North Korea looks more paranoid and isolated than ever before

Relics of inter-Korean rapprochement at Joint Security Area also provide stark reminder of failure of peace efforts

Over the past 12 years, I’ve visited the Joint Security Area (JSA) on the inter-Korean border around a dozen times, from both the North and South Korean sides. I’ve seen how changes in the political climate have influenced operations and protocol in both countries, resulting in new uniforms, narratives and even military postures.

But during my latest visit to the peace village last week, North Korea looked more paranoid and isolated there than ever before.