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Historic Diplomatic Link With North Korea


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

HISTORIC DIPLOMATIC LINK WITH NORTH KOREA


Foreign Minister Phil Goff has announced that New Zealand established diplomatic relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) today. The DPRK is the only country in the Asia-Pacific region with which New Zealand had not established diplomatic relations.

"Following my meeting with North Korea's Foreign Minister last year, I was encouraged that normalising relations with Pyongyang would enable New Zealand to engage North Korea on issues of key concern for the region such as security and humanitarian relief.

"While there is currently no trade between New Zealand and the DPRK, I hope that some economic ties may develop over the longer term as the DPRK's economy becomes more open," Mr Goff said.

New Zealand has provided over $1 million in food aid to the DPRK mainly through the United Nations. New Zealand has also contributed $3 million to the Korean Energy Development Organisation, which is constructing two light water reactors to alleviate energy shortages in the DPRK.

ENDS


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