Canadian Armed Forces General to be appointed Deputy Commander – United Nations Command Korea

News release

May 14, 2018, Ottawa, ON — National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Lieutenant-General Wayne D. Eyre of the Canadian Armed Forces is the appointed Deputy Commander Designate of United Nations Command (UNC) Korea, the first non-US General Officer to hold the post in its 68-year existence.

The appointment of Lieutenant-General Eyre demonstrates Canadian leadership and underlines Canada’s enhanced role in recent years in support of stability on the Korean Peninsula. Canada has worked hand-in-hand with its allies to revitalize the UNC and has actively participated in military exercises that reduce the risk of accidental escalation that could undermine diplomatic efforts.

The Canadian Armed Forces contribution to the UNC is also expected to expand from six personnel currently, to about 15 this summer.

Canada’s decision to increase its participation is aligned with Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. It reflects the importance Canada places on security in the Asia-Pacific region and demonstrates Canada’s resolve in standing with key Canadian allies and partners, including South Korea, in accordance with Canadian values and interests.

Helping to support a strong UNC with a broad international composition will contribute to Canada’s objective of creating conditions conducive to peaceful, diplomatic solutions on the Korean Peninsula. 


Quotes

“For nearly 70 years, Canada has supported peace and security on the Korean Peninsula through our steadfast commitment to the United Nations Command. The appointment of Lieutenant-General Eyre to Deputy Commander – UNC Korea, and the increase in the contribution of the Canadian Armed Forces further demonstrates our commitment to maintaining the Armistice. The decision to increase our participation in the UNC is part of our continuous efforts to support our key partners in the Asia-Pacific region.”

– Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“Doing our part for global peace and security is often more than sending a large contingent of Canadian Armed Forces members. In sending Lieutenant-General Eyre as the next Deputy Commander of UNC Korea, I am dispatching an accomplished General Officer who will, I am certain, represent Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces with distinction on this important UN mission.”

– General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

“I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of Deputy Commander – UNC Korea, and am incredibly honoured to be selected for this position. Canada is committed to maintaining peace and security on the Korean peninsula and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, for which the UNC is an important component, and I will do all I can to support this objective. The increase in the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution is a further example of the Canadian Armed Forces being a force for good around the world.”

– Lieutenant-General W.D. Eyre, Deputy Commander – UNC Korea

Quick facts

  • The Chief of the Defence Staff will publish a Canadian Forces General Order (CANFORGEN) in the coming weeks, with the remaining General and Flag Officer senior appointments for 2018, including Lieutenant-General Eyre.

  • The UNC is the multi-national command that led the Allied Korean War effort (1950-53) in response to United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The war ended without a permanent peace agreement, but an armistice ended hostilities in 1953. In order to supervise the implementation of this agreement, the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission was established, and on July 27, 1953, the Armistice Agreement was signed between the UNC, China, and North Korea.

  • The UNC remained the principal military command organization charged with the defence of South Korea until the establishment of the Republic of Korea–US Combined Forces Command in 1978, at which point it focused on maintaining the Armistice and coordinating and controlling international commitments in times of crisis.

  • The UNC Military Armistice Commission is headquartered in Seoul and Panmunjom, and is responsible for supervising the 244 kilometre-long Demilitarized Zone under the authority of the Armistice Agreement. 

  • The Canadian Armed Forces contributes to the UNC’s permanent staff and participates in exercises which contribute to both deterrence and reassurance on the Peninsula, as well as strategic planning and consultations with military and diplomatic counterparts from participating partners and allied nations.

  • The Canadian Defence Attaché and Assistant Attaché represent the Canadian Armed Forces’ presence in Seoul and act as Canada’s official liaison team to the UNC. They are members of the Military Armistice Commission participating in Armistice duties such as guard post inspections, investigations of cease-fire violations, and other events, including the repatriation of war remains to and from North Korea. 

  • Canada and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on International Development Cooperation, which establishes a framework for closer cooperation between the two countries in three broad areas: policy dialogue, institutional linkages and programming.

  • Canada and Korea are connected through strong people-to-people ties rooted in shared history and cultural connections, with over 170,000 Canadians being of Korean descent, and increasingly important economic links underpinned by the 2014 Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Contacts

Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100
Email: byrne.furlong@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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