2018 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 New York City on April 12-13, 2018 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 and 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 high-level UN staff over the situation on the Korean Peninsula and on the work of NNSC.

The NNSC was established 65 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 As long as this Agreement is not superseded by a comprehensive peace treaty, the role of the NNSC remains important in maintaining the military armistice as well as in promoting transparency and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 perspective of several high-level summits with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the past and coming weeks are encouraging. For the first time in many years, inter-Korean dialogue is showing signs of progress, as exemplified by the participation of DPRK's delegation in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang (Republic of Korea) last February. Nonetheless, NNSC Member States underscored the need for all parties 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.