Oral Answers to Questions — U.N. Commission, North Korea (Obstruction)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Ronald Russell Mr Ronald Russell , Wembley South 12:00 am, 3rd May 1954

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will give details of the ways in which the United Nations Supervisory Commission in North Korea is being obstructed in its duties.

Photo of Mr Selwyn Lloyd Mr Selwyn Lloyd , Wirral

Yes, Sir, but as the reply will be rather long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:Three main techniques of obstruction by the Communist members of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (N.N.S.C.) in Korea are discernible:

  1. (1) the despatch of inspection teams to investigate complaints may be blocked in the N.N.S.C. itself since a vote of two against two prevents any action at all:
  2. (2) when inspection teams are sent to North Korea they may then be refused adequate inspection facilities:
  3. (3) even if inspection teams are able to investigate fully the Czech and Polish members can prevent an agreed report.
Some detailed examples are:
  1. (a) On 29th November and 18th December, 1953, and on 18th and 26th January, 1954, the United Nations Command requested investigation of Communist units in connection with a charge that the Communists were forcibly retaining South Korean prisoners of war illegally impressed into their armies. These requests, which were based on specific information, were all blocked by the Czech and Polish members of the N.N.S.C. itself.
  2. (b) In October last the United Nations Command charged the Communists with bringing aircraft in crates to the North Korean airfield of Iuju. An inspection team was sent and when after delay they were able to inspect the airfield properly they saw many new combat aircraft there. The Communists claimed that these aircraft had not been introduced since the Armistice, but when asked to produce the log books they said these were not available.
  3. (c) On 9th February the United Nations Command requested an investigation of the illegal introduction of combat material into North Korea and gave the names of the places where this was believed to have occurred. The N.N.S.C. replied that it was unable to act on this request. The Czech and Polish members had prevented it from doing so.
Both sides in Korea are supposed to submit to the N.N.S.C. reports on rotation of personnel and on military equipment consumed, taken out of or brought into Korea. Although the number of Chinese forces in Korea is as large if not larger than that of the United Nations forces, by the end of February the Communist reports compared with those of the United Nations Command as follows:

United Nations CommandsCommunists
Combat aircraft:
Evacuated2,8380
Brought in2,4340
Armoured vehicles:
Evacuated3780
Brought in620
Weapons:
Evacuated57,5489
Brought in8,1891
Personnel:
Permanent arrivals since "A" Day180,3649,836
Permanent departures since "A "Day …214,42423,699