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Key’s Comments On Korea Irresponsible

Labour Leader
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

Key’s Comments On Korea Irresponsible

The Prime Minister’s comments to New Zealand media about going into a war in Korea were irresponsible given the focus should be on de-escalation rather than ramping up the rhetoric, said Labour Leader David Shearer.

“The clear implications of John Key’s comments were that we should automatically follow the United States and Australia into a war in Korea. No one should be talking up the prospect of war on the Korean Peninsula. In fact, the international community is focused on de-escalation and so should we,” said David Shearer.

“We are a proudly independent and sovereign country. We make our own assessment and decisions. And we seek to work within a multi-lateral framework. John Key must be more careful with his comments on this issue.”

Labour’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Phil Goff says North Korea’s rhetoric represents dangerous brinkmanship and it should be condemned.

“But at present, it is just rhetoric and New Zealand should not be buying into its game. North Korea needs to be isolated and pulled back from its current irrational stance. The danger is that brinkmanship can lead to incidents that then escalate into full conflict. The international response needs to be calm, firm and co-ordinated to prevent this outcome.

“John Key’s response was amateurish and ill-timed. He got talked into a response that was ill-judged. It is similar to his knee-jerk reaction at the time of the invasion of Iraq. New Zealand does not blindly follow any other country with respect to decisions about engaging in wars.

“And most importantly, our starting point is to seek to avoid catastrophic conflict, not play into the hands of those like North Korea who are talking it up,” Phil Goff said.


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