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Inside South Korea’s Only Accessible Civilian Control Zone at Camp Greaves

Camp Greaves, the old U.S. military base


Visiting the historic U.S. military base, Camp Greaves is anticipated to be more accessible this year. Camp Greaves is one of the oldest U.S. military bases in South Korea. The Gyeonggi Tourism Organization announced its New Year’s goal in 2024: to create major tourist destinations within the province through systematic and solid tourism policies. It aims to make these destinations essential stops for travel in Gyeonggi and across Korea.

Highlighting the unique attributes of Gyeonggi, Imjingak, and Camp Greaves, they have been identified as distinctive tourism resources. The overarching objective is to transform the region into a hub for peace and eco-tourism within the DMZ border area. Situated within the civilian control line, Camp Greaves is 1.24 miles away from the southern limit line of the DMZ.

Camp Greaves, a modern cultural heritage site, offers visitors a glimpse into the contemporary architectural style of the U.S. military. The base served as a station for over 50 years until the 2nd Division, 506th Regiment, was withdrawn in August 2004.


In August 2007, after its land was retroceded to South Korea, Gyeonggi Province acquired a portion of the Camp Greaves site through an agreement with the Ministry of National Defense.

In 2013, Gyeonggi Province transformed it into a civilian peace and security experience facility.
The original U.S. military facilities were preserved and repurposed, including officers’ quarters, living spaces, and gymnasiums.

Camp Greaves is the sole accommodation-type cultural and artistic experience space within the civilian control zone.

One of the officers’ quarters has been converted into a youth hostel with a capacity for up to 240 people.

Its layout includes offices and lecture halls on the first floor, accommodations on the second and third floors, and a large lecture hall and restaurant on the fourth floor.

Camp Greaves offers a range of programs.

② The only facility within the civilian control zone

Visit Korea

In 2016, Camp Greaves garnered attention as the filming location for the popular drama “Descendants of the Sun.”

The fictional setting of the drama, known as “Uruk,” was Camp Greaves.

The drama’s immense success led to a significant surge in foreign tourist visits.

At the time, the Gyeonggi Tourism Organization improved the filming location to attract more foreign tourists.

They installed signboards indicating the drama filming location and designated photo zones.

One foreign visitor to Camp Greaves left a review, commenting, “This place is a former military base transformed into an arty area and museum, which hold exhibitions on the Korean War, military life, and art installations.

The Korean drama “Descendants of the Sun” was filmed at this site, allowing visitors to create their name tags and try on the school uniform featured in the series. The overall experience was both educational and enjoyable.


Since its designation as a security tourism site in 2016, its daily admission limit has been increased from 250 people to 3,000.

Last year, 490,000 people visited Camp Greaves.

Since its inaugural year in 2014, with 5,771 visitors, the numbers have consistently risen annually.

The Gyeonggi Tourism Organization stated, “We plan to allow admissions without prior permission using the Imjingak Peace Gondola, starting this September.”

They expect 540,000 people, 10% more than last year, will visit Camp Greaves this year.

Furthermore, they announced, “As we expect the demand for visits in light of the increased accessibility to Camp Greaves, we plan to revamp the old building previously used by the U.S. military officers and add an extra 70 rooms.”

Camp Greaves aims for full opening in the second half of this year when you can enjoy the tourist course connecting the gondola and Camp Greaves.

③ Imjingak Peace Gondola

Visit Korea

The Imjingak Peace Gondola is the first gondola in Korea connecting civilian areas and civilian control zones.

To ride the gondola, you need to submit a security pledge.

Also, carrying identification is mandatory, involving entering and leaving the civilian passage line.

Covering a one-way distance of 0.53 miles, the gondola shuttles between the southern boarding station in the Imjingak tourist area and the northern boarding station in the civilian passage area, completing a round trip of 1.06 miles.

The ride takes about 10 minutes, and 26 cabins, including 17 regular and 9 crystal cabins, are in operation.

During the gondola ride, you can take panoramic views of the Jangdan Peninsula, Bukhansan, Gyeongui-Jungang Line, Bridge of Freedom, Dokgae Bridge, and Imjingak.

Camp Greaves and the first and second observatories are located near the northern platform, where you can enjoy the expansive view of the Jangdan Peninsula.

You can visit Imjingak, Pyeonghwa Nuri Park, Pyeonghwa Nuri Campsite, and the Memorial Hall of the Korean War Abductees at the southern boarding station.

The Imjingak Peace Gondola surpassed 1.6 million passengers in four years.
In 2023, it recorded a growth rate of 116.1% compared to the previous year, garnering attention.

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