The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has deployed a small number of military personnel to the Korean Peninsula to support the implementation of the inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement.
ADF’s move follows a request from the United Nations Command, which is responsible for maintaining the armistice agreement signed in 1953 at the end of the Korean War.
The armistice deal established the military demarcation line and demilitarised zone between the two Koreas.
In September 2018, South Korea and North Korea signed the comprehensive military agreement, which includes a series of confidence-building measures that intend to reduce military tensions on the peninsula.
United Nations Command is working with the Republic of Korea and North Korea to implement the measures.
ADF chief of joint operations Mel Hupfeld said Australia would support the implementation of the comprehensive military agreement measures within the demilitarised zone.
Hupfeld added: “Australia supports efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
“As part of these efforts, the ADF will initially contribute three personnel to support the implementation of the comprehensive military agreement confidence-building activities within the demilitarised zone.”
ADF’s contribution to the United Nations Command includes the recent appointment of Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer as its next deputy commander.
The appointment is the first time an Australian will serve in the position and only the second time in the command’s 69-year history that the post has been given to a non-American officer.