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President's visit expands relations with Korea

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 15 September 1999

PRESIDENT'S VISIT EXPANDS RELATIONS WITH KOREA

"President Kim and I have set some new directions for relations between New Zealand and Korea," Prime Minister Jenny Shipley announced following her meeting with the Korean President in Wellington today.

President Kim Dae-jung is making a state visit to New Zealand following the APEC Leaders' meeting.

"Our relations with Korea have expanded rapidly over the last decade and Korea is now our fifth largest market, worth close to $1 billion.

"Korea is of increasing importance in a whole range of fields including forestry, education and defence.

"I want to keep up the momentum.

"My joint statement with President Kim includes progress on parliamentary exchanges, air services negotiations, quarantine access for stonefruit, science cooperation and new scholarships for Korean Studies.

"The President and I underscored the importance of stronger linkages in trade, tourism, immigration, education and investment.

"With people-to-people links growing, Koreans and New Zealanders have more contact at a personal level than ever before.

"That is a good basis for the future.

In the statement, Prime Minister Shipley reiterated New Zealand's concern about a possible missile launch by North Korea.

"A missile launch by the North would have a serious effect on the security situation in North Asia, which is of vital importance for New Zealand.

"New Zealand welcomes the result of the recent US-North Korea talks in Berlin on the North Korean missile issue and we hope that these discussions will continue to bring good results.

"I have restated our support for President Kim's policy of engagement with North Korea.

"The President has acknowledged New Zealand's contribution to efforts to promote peace and stability there."

Following the official talks, both leaders witnessed the signing of a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

"This treaty, and the extradition treaty we have agreed to negotiate, will make it easier for police and justice agencies in both countries to work together," Mrs Shipley said.

"That is part and parcel of a closer relationship in a growing number of fields.

"I am confident that our discussions in Wellington today will take the relationship with Korea forward into the new century.

"The President's visit has been invaluable in raising New Zealand's profile in Korea," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS


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