I thought this was photoshopped at first but seriously why stand in front of the window?— Nan (@TracySkidds) March 17, 2017
This picture would have been taken inside the T-2 building at Panmunjom, which is opened alternately on a regular schedule to visitors from the ROK and DPRK sides of the DMZ. This is the building where many of the armistice and subsequent armistice implementation negotiations historically have taken place, and is a regular stop on the DMZ tour. During South Korean-side visits to the DMZ, North Korean soldiers have traditionally taken pictures of visitors for propaganda purposes, and South Korean soldiers may possibly do the same with North Korean delegations. I witnessed this same picture taking activity by NK soldiers during my last visit there in February of 2016.With regard to security risks, one has to remember both that despite the name Demilitarized Zone, this is one of the most highly militarized zones on earth but also that interactions at the JSA portion of the DMZ are highly ritualized. So there is an element of tension, but there is also an element of regularity of interaction that breeds a sense of business as usual and where the soldiers on both sides have established ground rules that have governed daily interaction in this space for decades. The most famous breach of those rules occurred during the ‘ax murder incident’ in the 1970s, involving a North Korean assault on a US-ROK tree trimming operation of a poplar that had obscured vision in a part of the JSA.Because of the ritualized nature of the interactions at the JSA, I think there would only be real danger in the event that the ritualized interactions were to break down. Since shooting pictures (rather than guns) is a part of the ritualized interaction, I see the visit of Secretary Tillerson as engendering essentially the same risk as any other visit to the DMZ. Since there are almost daily tours there, this is relatively low risk; soldiers at the DMZ would immediately recognize changes in behavior on the other side that would indirectly suggest the possibility of greater risk, in which case the visit would be canceled.