Goff Welcomes Korean Dialogue
Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
25 June 2000
GOFF WELCOMES KOREAN DIALOGUE
“The Korean war commemorations in Seoul have given the international community the opportunity to demonstrate their support for continued peace and cooperation between North and South Korea,” Foreign Minister Phil Goff said today from Seoul.
“Last week’s first ever summit between the leaders of South and North Korea provided a backdrop of hope for today’s commemorations,” Mr Goff said.
“The mood today is one of conciliation.
“The best way in which we can pay tribute to those who fought in the war is by taking every effort to ensure that it never happens again."
New Zealand was one of 16 countries that assisted South Korea by providing combat forces in the 1950-53 conflict. 6000 Kiwi troops served in Korea and 43 were killed.
Mr Goff will stay on in Seoul following the commemoration ceremonies to meet with key Korean counterparts.
“This is an excellent opportunity time to discuss outcomes from the summit and the way forward in inter-Korean relations. New Zealand shares a warm relationship with South Korea, stemming originally from our role in Korean conflict.
“I will be affirming New Zealand’s support for President Kim Dae-jung’s policy of engagement with North Korea.
“Korea is now New Zealand’s 5th largest export destination and there are excellent market prospects for services such as education
Mr Goff concluded that New Zealand's contacts with Korea are increasingly broad, extending over a range of fields including fisheries, people-to-people exchanges and science cooperation.