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Peters accepts invitation to visit North Korea

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


1 August 2007
Media statement

Peters accepts invitation to visit North Korea

Foreign Minister Winston Peters accepted an invitation to visit North Korea when he met his North Korean counterpart Pak Vi Chun in Manila yesterday evening.

"The meeting offered a chance to explain New Zealand's longstanding wish to see peace and security on the Korean peninsula, and its strong support for the Six Party Talks process," said Mr Peters, who is in Manila for the ASEAN Regional Forum and associated meetings.

"I was happy to accept Minister Pak's invitation, as I want to see for myself how New Zealand might contribute to international efforts to assist development in North Korea.

"We are pleased that North Korea has honoured its agreement to shutdown its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and allowed inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to return.

"While much remains to be done, New Zealand is encouraged by the current mood of both North Korea and the international community to move rapidly towards implementing agreements reached during February's Six Party Talks.

"We hope North Korea will continue to work closely with its Six Party Talks colleagues, because our long-held view is that peace and security on the Korean peninsula is fundamental to the political and economic stability of the wider Asian region.

"I told Minister Pak that New Zealand is willing to develop an assistance programme for North Korea in support of the Six Party Talks and the peace process.

"However before that could happen we would want assurances that North Korea will continue to take tangible steps towards engaging with the international community, and towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula," Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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