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Double talk from Clark on North Korea

Wayne Mapp National Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

27 July 2003

Double talk from Clark on North Korea

National's Foreign Affairs spokesman Wayne Mapp says the Prime Minister's tough talk on North Korea rings hollow when, at the same time, she's rebuffing proposals for any action.

"Helen Clark has warned that North Korea's move towards a nuclear arsenal is of grave concern to all South Korea's friends, including New Zealand, but is obviously cool on any practical moves to try and prevent this," says Dr Mapp.

"She's clearly unenthusiastic about a proposal by the Australians to intercept North Korean vessels and search for drugs and nuclear material.

"Helen Clark shouldn't reject this inspection proposal out of hand, considering the Australian Navy has already intercepted a huge haul of drugs on a North Korean vessel off the Australian coast.

"Everyone recognises the need for North Korea to abandon its efforts to develop a nuclear weapons programme.

"This will obviously require careful negotiations involving the four key states most affected by this threat - South Korea, Japan, the United States and China.

"But North Korea should not be left to believe it can send vessels carrying nuclear material, missiles and drugs around the world without threat of interception.

"It needs to realise there are benefits of abandoning its nuclear weapons programme, but sanctions if it does not," says Dr Mapp.


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