Joint Security Area (2000) - full transcript

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 remaining rounds in the assassin's magazine, amount to 16 cartridges for a gun that should normally hold 15. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved - all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic.

Presented by CJ Entertainment

Co-financed by KTB Network & Intz. com

A Myung Film Production

Directed by PARK Chan Wook

LEE Young Ae

LEE Byung Heon

SONG Kang Ho

KIM Tae Woo

SHIN Ha Kyun

Three days have passed
since the hostilities at JSA.

Efforts to hold a joint investigation
between the Koreas have failed,

but recently negotiators
achieved a key breakthrough.

Authorities from both countries
have agreed this afternoon

to comply with an
investigation by the NNSC.

Tensions have been running high

amid suspicions of a
Northern nuclear program

and the advance of U.S. naval
vessels into the East Sea.

Both Koreas recognize the need

to handle the recent conflict
calmly and objectively,

and to avoid having this
trivial matter escalate into war.

In accordance with the agreement,
the NNSC is planning to dispatch

Swiss and Swedish law officers
with experience in this field.

If a battle starts, shoot the bastards.

You couldn't kill even one?

You call yourself a soldier?

I thought my primary mission
was to rescue Sergeant Lee.


So that's why you couldn't aim straight?

Was your order to shoot down trees?

My order was to scare them off
and give cover to the rescue team.


You sure you weren't the one scared off?

I didn't want to start a war, sir.

What? A soldier afraid of war?

You stupid...


Reporting, sir!

War doesn't break out that easily.

Now go.

Yes, sir!

This incident...

...isn't it rather obvious?

Some commies kidnap our soldier,

and claim he crossed over voluntarily.

Am I right? Correct, sir!

Our boy... what's your name again?

Sergeant Lee Soo Hyuk,
sir! Right, Soo Hyuk.

Let's wrap this up quickly so Soo
Hyuk can take a leave of absence.

Our boy here took out
two of the bastards.

He's a hero!

Wouldn't you say, Major Jean?

Your opinion will be
noted in the investigation.

The NNSC will now be taking
custody of the suspect.

No South Korean military officials
may enter without my permission.

Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission?

There are two kinds of
people in this world.

Commie bastards...

and the Commie bastards enemies.

Neutral has no place here.

You have to choose sides.

You're from law school, right?

I trust you'll make a wise choice.

I'm Major Sophie Jean from Switzerland.

This is Captain Perrson from Sweden.

He's still in shock.

He was hit with a blunt object.

That bruise proves
that he was kidnapped.

- Deposition

Get down!

He looks like one of ours!

Soo Hyuk! Soo Hyuk!

Right over the Military
Demarcation Line.

Doesn't it seem a bit acted out?

This is where Lieutenant
Choi's body was found.

And that's where Private Jung fell.

A basement bunker...

Private Jung was a talented artist.

He even won a prize
in a national contest.

He was popular among the soldiers
for drawing their girlfriends.


As soon as Lee Soo Hyuk left our post,

Southern soldiers
stormed in as if on cue.

It's a good thing that
Sergeant Oh survived.

Otherwise the South
would go on spouting lies,

calling it a North Korean provocation.

That's exactly what they're saying now.

Who's going to believe it?

We have a witness.

Don't get up.

This is Major Jean from the NNSC.

Are you okay?

No big deal. It's nothing.

This is from a terrorist in Libya.

Sliced me with his knife.

Once in Egypt, I had to scrape
out shrapnel with a gun spike.

Wanna see?


Shall we take a look?

I'm glad you're okay.

Now then, can you tell
me about that night?

It's all in my deposition.

You mean the deposition you made
and signed while barely conscious?

Stupid wench.

What did you just say?

Why is it you all have depositions,
but nobody will talk to me?

Hey Lieutenant, tell
us about your vacation.

It was the same as any other.

It was nothing special.

Get down!

Shot twice.

Once in the right chest,

crushing the ribs and
passing through the lung.

But that wasn't the fatal shot.

The second one was the real killer.

Judging from the angle,
it was shot at point blank.

As for the next one...

A total of eight shots.


Shot from such a close range,
they went right through him.

The first shot hit his face,
probably killing him instantly.

The rest were just
shot into a dead body.

Lee Soo Hyuk.

Now there's a man.

I can see that.

Once while he was on duty,

those guys over there
cursed our president.

When Soo Hyuk heard this,

He took a rock and smashed their window.

So I rounded up my men and then told him

"All right! Way to go!"

Once he got left behind
on a search mission.

Man, the squad was in uproar.

Four hours later he shows up again.

Says he stepped on a mine
and had to dismantle it.


Anyway, I knew then.

This guy, he's something else.

Nerves of steel, I tell you.

Nam Sung Shik,

you were on duty with Sergeant
Lee on the day of the incident.

Right? Yes, ma'am!

I'm not deaf.

Why did Sergeant Lee go out alone?

An urgent call of nature.

Can a soldier leave his post for that?

He said people with constipation

should seize a chance when it comes.

Please load the gun
as you would normally.

So you refuse to say anything?

I visited the North
side and saw the corpses.

If you just wanted to escape,
why shoot a man 8 times?

I brought photos of the
bodies. Do you want to see them?


I don't want to see them.

You've got a nice voice.

Your fellow soldiers say
you're very quick with the gun.

Are you really that fast?

Will you show me?

What's important in battle isn't speed.

It's carrying yourself
with composure and bravery.

That's everything.

Alright, then.

Can you load the gun
again, just like before?

Are you really a Swiss soldier?

Does Sergeant Lee talk
much about army life?

He tries to, but I don't let him.

Has he ever talked about, for example...

How he went on any missions,

or if he got special training?

Special training?

Can you zip me up?

Soo Jung, you don't
worry about Sergeant Lee?

We're not really that serious.

What kind of person is he, in a word?


Oh, you can tell by how
he treats my brother.

Since we were kids my brother
never had many friends.

But after enlisting, things got
much better, thanks to Soo-Hyuk.

He's very warm-hearted.

Probably because he
grew up poor, like us.

Wait a second...

Your brother?

You didn't know?

Private Nam Sung Shik,
they're in the same platoon.

He kept asking me to
meet Soo Hyuk, so I did.


Is there something on my face?

No, not at all.

There were 11 bullet wounds on
the three North Korean soldiers.

10 bullets were recovered at the scene,

but one was never found.

It's a missing bullet.

There were 5 left in your gun.

If you add these up, 5 and 10 make 15.

Since you aren't in the habit
of loading an extra bullet,

15 matches the number
you had to begin with.


what's this one bullet?

It was neither shot by
you nor recovered later.

Yet it pierced through a soldier's body.

If someone hid the bullet,

it means he's afraid it might
reveal whose gun fired it.

In other words, there was someone else,

a fifth person at the scene.

What do you think of my theory?

Sometimes they set fires on
the DMZ for good visibility.

One night we burned a reed field.

And all the mines
blew up like fireworks.

Then, another time...

Was Private Nam with you then, too?

This is the beretta you
had when you were rescued.

Everyone assumed that this was your gun.

I requested an inquiry
on the serial number.

This gun belongs to Private Nam.

Pvt. Nam said his gun broke during
the rescue and fired only once.

The beretta M-9 is an automatic,

so the slide cocks back after each shot.

It broke right here.

You know all this, right?
You're the weapons expert.

I inspected the gun registered
to you that Private Nam returned.

Antimony-barium reaction on the
gun revealed more than gunpowder.


After the first shot, the
slide retracted and then stuck.

And blood from a body
splattered right here.

and blood splattered right here.

The analysis results matched
with Private Jung's blood sample.

The bloodstains right here...

weren't visible, and so
they weren't wiped off.

Sergeant Lee, have you
heard of the Keeler Polygraph

Also known as a lie detector.


Thank you.

Here's checkpoint 2.

And this is checkpoint 3?

Hey, what are the
coordinates here again?

If we're here...

We're at checkpoint 3, sir.

Those coordinates aren't on the map.

Are you saying we crossed over?

Give me that.

We're fucked.

Retreat quickly, 5 o'clock!

Sergeant Hwang!

Sergeant Choi!

Help me...

I told you not to bring that
damn dog, you stupid shit!

I didn't bring him!

You shut up.

I'm stepping on a mine.

We could all die.

Watch out! Careful, there...

Don't come any closer!

One more step, and I'll trip the wire.

Hey assholes!

You just gonna leave me here?

You told us to go.

I said don't come closer, when
did I say to leave, you fuckers!

Save me!

A grown man, crying like a baby...

Sergeant Oh!

What if...

Let's just go.


Take it. It's a gift.

Let's go.

You too, puppy.

Watch yourself now.

About that mine...
Don't even talk to me.

What? Just out to save yourself...

Well, it was just...



We got your rabbit's dick right here!

Hey, hey.

Your shadow's over the line.

Watch it.

You writing to Soo Jung?


I didn't thank you for
your help last time.

It was rude of me, brother.

Oh, can I call you brother?

I've always wanted a brother.

"After hearing comrade” all the time,

it's nice to be called brother. "

"My hobby is baseball.

I was a pitcher in high school. "

"I'm enjoying the tape you sent me.

Han Dae Su was hard to take
at first, but I like it now.

Kim Hyun Shik is good, too.

But don't you have any
female singers down there?"

I didn't mean it...

I thought I'd write to
him too, as a joke...

I never thought he'd actually come.

What kind of a crazy fool would...

Good-bye, then.

Wait, I didn't mean for you to go.

You've done a great thing.

After half a century of division,

you have breached our tragic
history of agony and disgrace,

broken the dam to reunify our
country. Comrade Lee Soo Hyuk!

We welcome you.

I'm sorry.

You got a promotion?

Thanks to me you've lived
to become sergeant, right?

If I died, I'd have moved
up to staff sergeant.

Imagine if I'd had the
nerve to remove my foot?

I'm the one who saved your lives.

You're full of shit.

Move your army out of the way.

Then we can go head to head
with those damn Yankees.

Only two years and two months?

Damn, we serve for 13 years!

I'm pretty quick with the gun.

I'm bored all the time
so I practice a lot.

That water pistol?

Hey, just quit pissing
your pants around mines.

Yeah, you're pretty fast.

But have you...

ever shot a man before?


I have, several times. Alright.

Okay. Please Stop.

Our comrade's been everywhere

Africa, the Middle East... He
trained soldiers for 10 years!

You didn't know, did you?

That's right, huh?

Hey, Sergeant Lee.

What's important in battle isn't speed.

Combat skills? No such thing.

It's carrying yourself
with composure and strength.

That's everything.

Then what's a great soldier like you
doing guarding this post at your age?

Hey! You still have that
mine fuse I gave you?

Don't lose it.

A Hold onto that and even
bullets will pass you by.


Why do you always go
crazy over American things?

Try it, and you'll see why
Yankee stuff is so great.

Must've been expensive.

It's also good for picking
stuff out of your teeth.

Lay down.

I said lay down!


I told you about this American shit...

What are you doing there
away from your post?

It's not that, we were...

You idiot!

You think you're something
because you've been abroad?

You think this is a playground?

You're at the very front line
of our republic! The front line!

Hey. Take that damn dog to the butchers.

Lunch for tomorrow.


Our people count on us.

Don't let them down, okay?

Take care of yourself.

Go on.

Watch out for landmines.


I said go!

Hey! Hey!

There's more food on the other side!

That guy's so funny.

Sergeant Lee.

You're really handsome.

Tell me something I don't know.

Spit it out. You expect
me to read your mind?

Must be nice. Only three
months left to serve.

Nope, 87 days.

I'm worried about the
rest of my time here.

Hey, you want me to
introduce you to some friends?



Forget it.

Do I have to go?


Hey, after half a century of division...

Um... overcoming our history
of agony and disgrace,

We're gonna open the dam
to reunification. Okay?

Could we maybe open it later?

I've heard a lot about you.

I'm Oh Kyung Pil.

Hey. Private Nam.

You feel warm.

Ah! Feels warm.

Sergeant Lee.

Come on.

What's wrong with
people of the same blood

getting together and playing some games?

Is that such a crime? I
mean, did we commit adultery?

Or give up military secrets?

We don't even know any secrets.


Southern army...

Out of the way...

That's it!

Damn! I told you we should use pebbles!

What's so hard about this?

Wow! It's standing!


Pay up.

My father died young.

So I'm the only man in the house.


She's pretty.

Is she really yours?

Don't you have anyone,
brother? Come on, show us!

What? Don't be ridiculous.

But remember what that
soldier who defected said?

Guards at the border are
trained to draw us to their side.

You're wrong.

He saved my life.


Why can't our republic
make moon pies like this?


I was just wondering...

Don't you want to come down South?

You can eat Choco Pies till you burst.

I mean, only if you want to.

Lee Soo Hyuk.

I'm only going to say
this once, so listen well.

My dream is...

That one day, our republic...

makes the best damn
sweets on this peninsula.

Got it?

Until then, all I can do is...

dream about these Choco Pies.

Forget it. You're all talk.

Stop it.


Sung Shik, stop these Commie bastards!

You don't need to rub it,
just wipe it on with this.

Take them off.

First, shake it well like this.

Then you just spread it on.

This is how you do it. Like this.

Then after it dries, do it again.

Alert! Alert!

Hey! Hurry up over there!

Move your asses!

At 02:35,

we obtained word that

Northern troops are massing
along the entire border.

We're at DEFCON 3.

Hey! You chicken?

Keep your cool, okay?

Just think of it as
shooting off a round.

That's all it is, alright?

Sung Shik.

Let's not go over anymore.

It'll be Jung's birthday soon.

And you're almost out.

We should at least say goodbye.

After I'm out,

don't ever go there alone.

Got it?

Brother, that day...

Was the North really going to attack?

How should I know?

The Yankees were about to bomb
us. We supposed to just sit there?

So don't make any
nuclear arms or missiles.

Hey, do I make them?

Why are you getting angry?

Stop talking about war.

Everyone just write a
letter to your parents.

And one to Soo Jung, too.

If war really broke out,

would we have to shoot each other, too?

How about we write each other
certificates or something?

"We hereby certify that Nam
Sung Shik served the republic.

Signed, Sergeant Oh Kyung Pil
and Private Jung Woo Jin. "

Something like that.

That's good idea! Right!

What a waste of time.

If the Yankee bastards
play their war games,

we'll be obliterated. Zero.

Three minutes in war, both
countries would be destroyed.

A total wasteland. Don't you get it?

I see.

Man, this song reminds me of my mom.

Tell me,

Why did this singer
have to die so young?


Let's have a toast...

to singer Kwang Suk.


Oh, nothing.

Hey, squeeze in.


Aren't you going?

We have to go.

Let's go.

Hey dummy.

I taught you once, and
you still can't do it?

No matter what, I can't get it to shine.

Let me see.

A soldier's has to get
it right the first time.

I can't do this for you forever.

Oh, wait.

Happy Birthday.

Thank you, comrade.


Oh... damn!

You're crying!

I can't help it.

I have something for you guys, too.


Where'd it go?

What is it?

What the hell did you eat?

Hey, open the door. Open it!



Why does he want to postpone
the cross-examination?

Then tell this to General Pyo.

Whether Private Nam takes a leap,

or Sergeant Lee falls not
shock, it's not my concern.

I don't have time to
pamper the suspects.


Here are your depositions.

Read it and tell me if you
want to change anything.

Oh! I'm sorry.

This is correct.


You recognize this?
It's the crime scene.

Lieutenant Choi Man Soo.

Sergeant. Oh Kyung Pil.

And Private. Jung Woo Jin.

How many Southern
soldiers attacked the post?

Only one.

Are you sure?

I'm sure.


This is Sergeant Lee Soo-Hyuk.

Do you recognize him?

A Southern puppet.

What is this?

What's going on here?

This is another soldier presumed
to have been at the scene.

He's in a coma, so he
couldn't make it today.


With what evidence?

During his interrogation, when told
he would take a lie detector test,

Private Nam attempted
suicide on the spot.

We have no choice but to
consider this as a confession.

Therefore, I propose we start
the investigation all over again.

We didn't come here to
listen to your stories.

Please, stop!

You son of a bitch!

You capitalist bastard! You
know how long I've waited?

Damn puppet!

You know how long?

Take your hands off! I'll show
you the power of our republic!

You capitalist pig!

Son of a bitch! Traitor to the people!

Yankee puppet! Sergeant Oh!

Long live the Chosun Labor Party!

Our honored leader...

Long live Supreme
Commander Kim Jong-Il!

I'm sorry to make you come.
I know you're still ill.

This states my dismissal from the
JSA case from midnight tomorrow.

I heard about your father.

So you heard my father
was a North Korean general?

How does that make you feel?

Like a friend.

I still have a bruise,

but you're clean.

Your grip must be stronger
than Sergeant Oh's.

Alright, the real show starts now.

Watch carefully.

As soon as I met Soo Jung, I
knew I had seen her face before.

And it wasn't hard to
figure out who she was.

This is a picture drawn by Private Jung.

And this...

This picture was found
on Private Jung's body.

If the missing bullet
broke Private Nam's alibi,

then this missing face

proves that the four soldiers
must have been friends.


These are two completely
different reports.

Which one I submit is up to you.

If you tell me the truth,

I won't leave any of this
information for my successor.

Is that a threat?

It's a deal.

I don't care whether I
go to jail or get a medal.

So what can you offer me,

if I tell you the truth?

Someone you tried to
protect till the end...

Sergeant Oh's safety.

Comrade Choi, please calm down.

I'll explain everything.

What's going on here?

Please, put the gun
down. You too, Soo Hyuk!

You bastard!

I put you on guard and you
screw around with these puppets?

Arrest them now!

They came here to discuss
coming to the North.

I'll take care of everything.

Hey, Jung Woo Jin!
This is a direct order.

These scumbags are our
enemies. Disarm them now.

Shoot them!

I'll take full
responsibility. Don't move!

Do what I say now,

and I'll overlook this treasonable act.

Do it now!

Comrade Oh, I'm sorry.

Soo Hyuk.

Put your gun down.

There's no other way.

No way.

I'll help you come to the North.

You can live with us okay?


Put the gun down first and we'll talk.

Fuck that!

You know better. This
asshole can't be trusted.

You said it yourself, that
he's an ambitious prick.

He'll kill us both and say we
infiltrated enemy territory.

I promise I'll protect you.

You still don't trust me?

Sung Shik, you trust me. Talk to him.

Could this be a trap?

Soo Hyuk, brother!

You remember when Comrade
Oh saved you from the mine?

Don't you?

Please put the gun down, okay?

Fuck it!

Fuck this 'brother' shit.

We're enemies, after all.

You said I was chicken, right?

Fine, see if I can kill
this bastard or not.

Just watch.

Hey, Soo Hyuk!

We're all going to die this way.

Let's start over.

Put your guns down together.

You too, Woo Jin!

Just put them down.


Something's not right.

Listen to me.

Say you were kidnapped and then escaped.

You were never here. Got it?

Now go. There's no time!


Soo Hyuk...

Who the hell's that?

He looks like one of ours!

Get down!

Soo Hyuk! Soo Hyuk!

Cover us! You bastards!

Hurry up!

Hold your fire!

Cease fire!

So that's how Private Jung
ended up dying on his birthday.

I don't think about the dead.

Do you think you can forgive
Private Nam and Sergeant Lee?

May I have one?

If this had happened at a Southern post,

I would've shot first.

I heard you're being discharged.

How does it feel to leave Panmunjom?

Sgt. Lee is being sent
to Yongsan Hospital today.

Do you have a message for him?

He's made good use of it.

He said he's going to quit smoking.

You know that missing bullet?

Sgt. Oh threw it into the
reservoir with the cassette player.

I guess I've left a
stain on your career.

It doesn't matter.

I chose to fail.

Oh, there was one inconsistency
in Sgt. Oh's testimony.

He said Pvt. Nam didn't kill Pvt. Jung.

It was you.

It all happened so quickly,

you must have remembered it wrong.

Or Sergeant Oh made a mistake.

But what does it matter who
shot a second quicker or later?

I hope you get well soon.

Thank you.

Directed by PARK Chan Wook
Produced by LEE Eun & SHIM Jae Myung

Director of Photography: KIM Sung Bok