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UNC temporarily suspends tours to Panmunjom over COVID-19 concerns

In this file photo taken April 19, 2018, South Korean and U.S. soldiers stand guard at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit talks at the village on April 27. (Yonhap)
In this file photo taken April 19, 2018, South Korean and U.S. soldiers stand guard at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit talks at the village on April 27. (Yonhap)
The United Nations Command said Wednesday it is temporarily suspending tours to the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom, or the Joint Security Area (JSA), after two of its members came into contact with a coronavirus patient.

"Once we are certain that there is no additional risk to our force or the ROK population, we will resume JSA orientations," the US-led command said in a Facebook post. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The suspension comes as South Korea is struggling to contain the spread of the new virus, with daily new infections jumping to the highest level since late last year, when a third wave of outbreaks peaked in the country.

Tours to Panmunjom had resumed in April after a monthslong suspension due to the COVID-19 situation in line with US Forces Korea's eased social distancing guidelines for its personnel. (Yonhap)
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