Quietly Ignored Are The Peace Monitors

North Korea is getting a lot of coverage at the moment for sabre-rattling, but here’s a rather sad-sweet article from yesterday’s i paper:

In a tiny mess hall set amid pine trees and rose bushes on the heavily fortified Korean border, a lunch of steak and asparagus is served. Outside, birdsong competes with the drone of North Korean loudspeakers blaring propaganda.

Originally, a four nation commission, only the swedes and Swiss remain of he Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) st up after the 1950-53 Korean War to uphold a fragile armistice in place of a pace treaty and based in 1950s-era huts just metres from North Korea.

The NNSC holds weekly meetings in a light blue hut straddling the border inside the demilitarised one, the world’s most heavily defended frontier, sharing with the North Koreans the minutes of its proceedings in a wooden mailbox.

Since May 1995, the North Koreans have never emptied the pigeonhole, according to Swiss Major General Urs Gerber. Their argument, he says, is they can’t take mail from an organisation that doesn’t exist. The NNSC empties the mail box every few months to stop it overflowing.

North Korea, which has long sought  peace treaty with the United States, has said the armistice is “long defunct” and, with it, the NNSC has been “forgotten in history”


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