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NZ urges North Korea to stay in Six Party Talks

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

12 February 2005

NZ urges North Korea to stay in Six Party Talks

North Korea's talk of withdrawing from the Six Party Talks on nuclear disarmament is misconceived and should be rethought, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

"North Korea's securing of nuclear weaponry can only destabilise the Korean peninsular and the region, rather than contribute to reconciliation and the development assistance they so badly need," Mr Goff said.

"New Zealand urges North Korea to reconsider its position and to re-enter the Six Party Talks.

"The talks, involving Korea's key neighbours South Korea, China, Russia and Japan plus the United States, offer the prospect of a negotiated settlement to ensure peace, and the assistance necessary to lift North Korean people out of poverty.

"Acquisition of nuclear weapons on the other hand, heightens the risk of instability and will continue to isolate North Korea from much of the rest of the world.

"Cancelling or delaying the resumption of talks is to no-one's advantage. I hope that North Korea will listen to the advice of all the other parties to the talks and change its decision," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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