2019 Joint Statement by Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission Member States
Representatives of Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, Member States of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) in Korea, met in Panmunjom and Seoul 21 and 22 March, 2019 for their annual consultations. The discussion focused on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula and its impact on the activities of the NNSC. The representatives also evaluated the operational tasks of the NNSC including exchange of information and the co-operation with its partners. The NNSC Member States reaffirmed their long-term commitment to contribute to a permanent peace solution on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, the NNSC Member States exchanged views with several representatives from United Nations Command (UNC), United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) and the Ministry of National Defense.
The NNSC was established 66 years ago through the Armistice Agreement of 27 July 1953, which is still the only legal instrument for the avoidance of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. As long as this Agreement is not superseded by a comprehensive peace treaty, the role of the NNSC remains important in maintaining the military armistice as well as in promoting transparency and confidence on both sides of the demarcation line.
A special focus was laid during the discussions on recent developments on the Korean Peninsula. The fact that several high-level summits with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have been held is encouraging. Summits between the leaders of the US and DPRK were held in 2018 in Singapore and 2019 in Hanoi. The inter-Korean dialogue is progressing after summits 2018 in Panmunjom and Pyongyang. Nonetheless, NNSC Member States underscored the need for all parties to continue to abstain from actions that risk increasing again tensions in the region and to undertake concrete measures to further build confidence and trust on the Peninsula.
NNSC Member States expressed their continued support for all efforts aimed at achieving a negotiated and sustainable solution on the Peninsula that addresses concerns of all actors. They discussed the perspectives for the reinstating of a dialogue or other initiatives for dialogue among the involved parties and the possible role of the NNSC in this process. NNSC Member States also reaffirmed that denuclearization must be achieved and reiterated that the only way to bring about lasting stability in the region is by establishing a permanent peace arrangement on the Peninsula.