Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Defence boosts Korean UN Command commitment

The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today. 

NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United Nations Command (UNC) and its Military Armistice Commission from 12 to up to 53 personnel.

“This decision reflects our strong commitment to the Republic of Korea, and our need to step up to better support peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and the Indo-Pacific more widely,” Ms Collins says.

“This deployment is an excellent opportunity for our NZDF personnel to utilise their skills, leadership and experience in a multinational environment.”

Up to six of the additional personnel will take on roles in the UNC Honour Guard, while an infantry platoon of up to 35 of the additional personnel will join the UNC Security Battalion operating in the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea. They will work alongside contributing nations, including the Republic of Korea, the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

“Substantially increasing the size of our deployment to the Republic of Korea reflects the importance New Zealand places on collective security efforts that support peace and stability and the international rules-based system in the Indo-Pacific region, and on the Korean Peninsula in particular,” Mr Peters said.

The mandate for this long-standing deployment to the Republic of Korea has been extended until September 2026. The NZDF has contributed to the UNC and its Military Armistice Commission since 1998.

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