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Confusion Ongoing Inside Nats over Foreign Policy

Confusion continues to reign in Nats over foreign policy

Hard on the heels of National leader Bill English’s bizarre statements over our SAS commitment to Afghanistan, National MP Nick Smith has further shown his party is in a state of total confusion over foreign policy, Foreign Minister Phil Goff said.

“Dr Smith’s comments in his Sunday News column over New Zealand’s contribution to the Korean Energy Development Organisation (KEDO) are riddled with contradictions and inaccuracies.

“Not a cent of the $4.5 million contributed by New Zealand to KEDO has contributed towards North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme. The money has been spent on heavy fuel oil as an alternative source of power.

“New Zealand, under the then National Government, was the first country in the world to announce it was making a financial contribution in 1995. Financial contributions were also made by National-led governments in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

“This makes a mockery of Dr Smith’s feigned outrage over the contributions. His silence over these payments for the last seven years has been deafening.

“Contributions to KEDO have been made by a consortium under UN auspices including the United States, Australia, South Korea and Japan in an effort to help divert North Korea away from a nuclear weapons programme.

“Dr Smith says New Zealand needs to join with the likes of America to toughen up on North Korea.

“I assume Dr Smith is aware the United States encouraged New Zealand to join KEDO and has itself been one of the major contributors, putting in over a billion dollars. New Zealand along with the US has made its serious concern over the revelation of a nuclear weapons programme known to North Korea.

“As I have already publicly stated, New Zealand’s future payment to KEDO will depend on North Korea’s compliance with its commitments.

“Dr Smith has chosen to play ‘follow the leader’ on foreign policy matters and like Bill English has exposed himself to be ill-informed and confused,” said Mr Goff.

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