U.S. Military Chief in Surprise Visit to Truce Village

      November 14, 2012 09:15

      Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a surprise visit to the truce village of Panmunjom on Sunday. His visit caught North Korean soldiers there off guard.

      According to the Korean JCS headquarters, Gen. Dempsey, accompanied by U.S. Forces Korea commander James Thurman, toured Panmunjom.

      A North Korean Soldier takes photos through the window while Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is briefed at the demilitarized zone in South Korea on Sunday. /Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense

      When Dempsey and his party arrived at the conference building in Panmunjom, North Korean soldiers hurried down to the building with cameras, a U.S. Defense Department official said.

      Gen. Dempsey was in South Korea to attend a U.S. Veterans Day event at the memorial for the Eighth U.S. Army in Yongsan on Sunday. He and his South Korean counterpart Gen. Jeong Sung-jo attended a dinner hosted by Gen. Thurman that evening.

      Dempsey said the U.S. is closely watching North Korea's provocations like the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island or the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, GPS jamming attacks or the launch of missiles, and will remain prepared for any emergencies.

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