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NZ must work within UN framework on Korean crisis

8 April 2013
NZ must work within UN framework on Korean crisis

John Key must clearly state that New Zealand will work through a United Nations’ framework to deal with the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, rather than simply following the United States and Australia into any future conflict because they are, as Key says, our ‘traditional allies’, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

On his current visit to China the New Zealand Prime Minister suggested New Zealand would automatically follow the United States and Australia into any future conflict on the Korean peninsula.

“John Key has got the framework totally wrong in his embarrassing attempts at tackling international diplomacy,” Dr Norman said.

“New Zealand needs an independent foreign policy working within a UN framework, not a policy of ‘wherever Uncle Sam goes so does New Zealand’.

“We should be working firstly to de-escalate the current Korean crisis. Having the New Zealand PM talking up the prospects of war is not helpful to efforts to calm the situation.

“Secondly, in the event of an act of aggression by North Korea, the UN Charter gives South Korea the right to defend itself and other nations the right to support South Korea. International law and the UN is the right framework for dealing with this possibility, not some Cold War mentality of jumping on Uncle Sam’s white horse.

“Instead, we have the Prime Minister of New Zealand on a state visit to China talking about backing any United States response to North Korea’s threats.
“New Zealand is trying to balance relationships with China and the United States, which is no easy task,” said Dr Norman.

“Key’s blundering comments have made this harder. We shouldn’t be afraid of upsetting China or the US over issues of principle, like human rights and democracy, but Key has blundered into a difficult diplomatic area while arguing an unprincipled position.”

Note: Green Party MP Kennedy put forward a Member’s bill in 2009 - the International Non-Aggression and Lawful Use of Force Bill - that prohibits our country unlawfully engaging in armed force against other countries.

http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/international-non-aggression-and-lawful-use-force-bill

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