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NZ Supports Korean Peninsular Energy Development


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

24 September 2001

New Zealand Supports Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organisation


New Zealand is to contribute NZ$500,000 to the Korean Peninsular Energy Development Organisation (KEDO), Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“KEDO plays a key role in international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and can also play a part in improving the relations between North and South Korea.

“New Zealand’s contribution is an investment in the continued international cooperation of our Asian neighbourhood,” Mr Goff said.

KEDO was established by Japan, America and South Korea through the 1994 Agreed Framework under which North Korea agreed to freeze and dismantle its nuclear programme, and accept inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

KEDO's role is to construct two light water nuclear reactors that won’t pose a risk of nuclear proliferation. Pending the construction of these reactors, KEDO is supplying North Korea with heavy fuel oil.

Mr Goff said New Zealand's funding is to support the purchase of this oil.

“New Zealand is strongly committed to international cooperation on North East Asia security issues and nuclear non proliferation. We have already provided $3.5 million to KEDO since 1995 and this further contribution shows our continued support for the important work of KEDO.

“New Zealand has been a strong supporter of South Korea’s Sunshine Policy of engagement with North Korea and of strengthening links between North Korea and the rest of the world.

“New Zealand signalled its support for the progress made in inter-Korean reconciliation by establishing diplomatic relations with North Korea in March this year.

“New Zealand looks forward to developing a cooperative relationship with North Korea to discuss issues of concern in the region such as disarmament and human rights,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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