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Peters welcomes Nth Korea's return to Talks

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


1 November 2006
Media statement

Peters welcomes Nth Korea's return to Six Party Talks


Foreign Minister Winston Peters today welcomed reports that North Korea has agreed to return to the Six Party Talks on dismantling its nuclear programme.

News that the talks – which involve North Korea, China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Russia – should resume before the end of the year follows a meeting between officials from North Korea, the US and China in Beijing.

"New Zealand welcomes the announcement as a positive step, after a year-long suspension in the Six Party Talks," Mr Peters said.

"China and the US are to be congratulated for their efforts in persuading North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

"The Six Party Talks remains the only vehicle that can provide step-by-step progress towards an improved security situation on the Korean peninsular through the removal of North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

"It will only be when Pyongyang agrees to abandon nuclear weapons that the international community will be willing to provide aid that North Korea desperately needs to address the major development problems its people continue to face.

"However a resumption in Six Party Talks remains only a starting point – the critical test remains whether real progress can be made at the negotiating table," Mr Peters said.

“We continue to urge North Korea to participate in good faith in the process, and to make a genuine commitment to abandon its nuclear programmes in keeping with the calls of the international community and the United Nations,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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