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North Korea talks offer hope, says Goff

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

27 August 2003

North Korea talks offer hope, says Goff

Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the start of Six Nation talks in Beijing aimed at finding a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue.

The United States, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and North Korea are participating in the talks, which are expected to continue until Friday.

“We hope this is the start of a process that will lead to North Korea permanently abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions," Mr Goff said.

"A durable and peaceful resolution to the Korean peninsula's security problems will only be found if the region remains free of nuclear weapons.

“There will be no quick or easy solutions. The problems are complex and longstanding but the fact that all the key players are participating is encouraging. China deserves real credit for brokering the talks.

“North Korea’s recent actions have been of deep concern to New Zealand. We would like to see North Korea meet its Non-Proliferation Treaty responsibilities and resume cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency as soon as possible.

“If North Korea's actions during these talks demonstrate a commitment to ending its nuclear programme, the international community will be willing to help it deal with pressing development problems.

“It is potentially a win-win situation for everyone. I very much hope North Korea will see that its own best interests, as well as the world's, are served by a non-nuclear future,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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