The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland condemns the launch on 13 April of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Republic of Poland, as a member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, is opposed to any action that could lead to a violation of the 1953 Armistice Agreement. The failed rocket launch should be construed as a breach of the moratorium on missile tests recently announced by Pyongyang.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland again calls on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to respect its international obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and to refrain from measures that could disrupt efforts for the resumption of dialogue.
Marcin Bosacki, MFA Spokesman, 2012.04.13
About Marcin Bosacki
Since September 2010, Marcin Bosacki is the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Poland. He was previously Chief U.S. Correspondent for Gazeta Wyborcza, where he has served as editor of the home desk, deputy foreign editor, and as foreign editor. From 1985-1990, he was an activist involved with the underground anti-communist youth organizations School Groups of Social Resistance (SKOS) and Independent Student’s Association (NZS) in Poznań. During this period, he edited numerous underground newspapers. Bosacki graduated from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań in 1994 with an master’s degree in history. He was honored by the Polish Association of Journalists (SDP) in 1996.
About the NNSC
The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) was established by the Korean Armistice Agreement signed July 27, 1953, ending the Korean War. It is, with the Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC), part of the mechanism regulating the relations between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea).
According to the Armistice, the NNSC shall be composed of four senior officers, two of whom shall be appointed by neutral nations nominated by the United Nations Command (UNC) and two of whom shall be appointed by neutral nations nominated jointly by the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV). The term « neutral nations » was defined as those nations whose combat forces did not participate in the hostilities in Korea. The United Nations Command chose Sweden and Switzerland, while the Korean People’s Army (the combined forces of North Korea) and Chinese People’s Volunteers (the armed forces deployed by the People’s Republic of China during the Korean War) chose the People’s Republic of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
The mission of the NNSC is defined in article 41 of the Armistice and reads as follows: « The mission of the NNSC shall be to carry out the function of supervision, observation, inspection, and investigation and to report the results of such supervision, observation, inspection and investigation to the Military Armistice Commission. »
Swiss Armed Forces NNSC factsheet :
1. On 7 July 1953 the Federal Council decided to authorise the Department of Defence to make preparations for sending armed Swiss military personnel to the two commissions NNRC (Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea) and NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea). That was also the birth hour of Swiss military peace-keeping.
2. In the course of the following months, instalments of a total of 146 Swiss citizens travelled to Korea. The NNRC interrupted its work again by the end of February 1954 as it had accomplished its mission of conducting and completing the exchange of prisoners. The NNSC still exists today, however with a different mandate, and is supported by the Swiss Armed Forces with five officers in Panmunjom.
3. The cease-fire agreement between North and South Korea gives the NNSC the functions of supervision, observation, inspection and investigation. At the beginning of the mission, these extensive functions, however, were reduced to supervise the exchange of military personnel and war material between North and South Korea at ten ports of entry and, on demand of one of the war parties to investigate alleged breaches of the cease-fire. Hundreds of border crossings, coastal landing stages and upcountry airfields were unsupervised!
4. The NNSC was stationed on both sides of the demarcation line, within the demilitarised zone and was staffed with officers from Switzerland and Sweden, as suggested by South Korea as well as from Poland and Czechoslovakia, as suggested by North Korea. The four countries cooperated in their tasks and built inspection teams to supervise the ports of entry in South and North Korea.
5. From June 1956 to the year of 1993, the NNSC ceased their controls but solely forwarded the war parties’ reports on entering and leaving military persons to the Ceasefire Commission. The strengths of the delegations from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden and Switzerland were reduced gradually: On 9 June 1956 to 14 members each, in 1960 to 9 members each and in 1978 to 6 members each. In 1993 Poland and Czechoslovakia withdrew from Korea because of the political upheavals in Eastern Europe. Today five Swiss representatives and five Swedish representatives stationed in Panmunjom, South Korea, are on duty for the NNSC. Presently, their main task is to show presence at the inner Korean border and thus demonstrate that the cease-fire is still in force. Occasionally, Polish delegates attend the meetings at Panmunjom – however through South Korea, as Poland has changed sides politically.
6. In Stans, future Korean delegates are trained and prepared for their task by especially designated experts. The head of the delegation is a regular officer and is sent by the DDPS. His engagement usually lasts for three to five years. The other four delegates are also engaged by the DDPS and usually serve for a one to two year term.
7. As the UN was not a war leading party, NNSC delegates are regarded neither as blue helmets nor as military observers (blue berets). The mandate was allocated to the NNSC by the cease-fire treaty of the two belligerent parties North and South Korea. As military personnel of their own country, the NNSC delegates are called to impartially fulfil their military-diplomatic mission.
Sources: MSZ, Swiss Armed Forces, Wikipedia