Lt. Cmdr. D.E. McShane (Ret.) was the longest-serving U.N. joint duty officer at Panmunjom, serving from 2013 to 2021.
“During that time, he faced off with North Korean troops, prepped for the Trump-Kim summit, saw tensions ebb and flow with the political mood and witnessed some of the most hair-raising — and bizarre — moments at the DMZ, the world’s most heavily armed border.
His first night on the job, a land mine exploded nearby. The next night, two went off. Soon, he stopped registering them; the DMZ is strewn with 2 million land mines. Animals step on them all the time. It was ‘a bit of a culture shock,’ McShane recalled.
Twice a day — at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. — he rang his North Korean counterpart on a peach-colored phone the U.N. Command operated to ensure that the hotline was open. The messages were usually mundane: ‘We’re trimming the grass over here. Don’t shoot us!’ he said.”
Why did the US troops call him Lord Commander? Check out the story.