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 of Swiss military peace-keeping.
In the course of the following months, instalments of a total of 146 Swiss citizens travelled to Korea. The NNRC terminated its work at 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 an adapted range of duties within its mandate, and is supported by the Swiss Armed Forces with five unarmed officers in Panmunjeom. […]
Today, five Swiss and five Swedish officers are on duty for the NNSC and are stationed in Panmunjeom, immediately south of the Demarcation Line. Presently, their main task continues to consist in monitoring the armistice, although only on the southern side of the border since 1995. The NNSC also has an extended range of duties within the armistice comprising nine specified additional tasks that are aimed primarily at promoting transparency and confidence-building. […]
NNSC delegates are neither UN blue helmets nor UN military observers (blue berets) as the UN flag stands for the alliance of the 16 force providing nations who under the lead of the USA participated in the war as South Korea’s allies. The mandate of the NNSC is based on the cease-fire treaty of the warring parties. As military personnel of their own country, the NNSC delegates are called to transparently and impartially fulfil their military-diplomatic mission. •
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