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Don Borrie Steps down as Chairman of the NZ DPRK Society

Don Borrie Steps down as Chairman of the NZ DPRK Society

After many years at the helm of the NZ DPRK Society, co-founder Rev. Donald Borrie has stepped aside as Chairman because of ill health and accepted appointment as Patron.

The Society was formed in 1973 by Donald Borrie and Wolf Rosenberg. Over the subsequent 43 years Don has been active in promoting a better understanding in New Zealand of North Korea whose official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, is reflected in the title of the Society. He has visited the DPRK many times over this period, building relationships with institutions in Pyongyang such as the Korea-New Zealand Friendship Society and the Korean Christian Federation.

The former Vice Chairman Dr Tim Beal becomes the new Chairman. Tim is a retired academic who has written extensively on Asia. He has been Secretary of the NZ Asian Studies Society and was foundation director of Victoria University’s Centre for Asia/Pacific Law and Business. Tim has written numerous articles and two books about the Korean peninsula and has been described as NZ’s leading expert on North Korea. He is an occasional columnist for the Washington-based specialist website NK News and is frequently interviewed by Russia Today on Asian issues.

In accepting the Chairmanship, Tim Beal paid tribute to Don Borrie’s long service in the advocacy of peace on the Korean peninsula. “Don has worked tirelessly to promote better relations between our two countries, which would produce benefits for both. New Zealand has a lot to offer, and North Korea, with its 25 million energetic people, has considerable potential as a market for us. Don has considerable mana in North Korea, reminiscent of that of Rewi Alley in China”, he said.

Tim added, “Fortunately the rest of the team remains in place. Rev Dr Stuart Vogel, well known in the Asian community, remains Aid Co-ordinator and Peter Wilson, who has decades of experience working on agricultural projects in Asia, including the DPRK, continues to fulfil the crucial role of Secretary with incredible energy and unflagging enthusiasm.”

The NZ DPRK Society remains committed to its objectives which are:

• To promote peace and understanding between the People of the DPRK and NZ

• To support the peaceful reunification of the DPRK and ROK

• To facilitate the exchange of people and resources between the DPRK and NZ.

• To support recognition of DPRK by the international community of nations

• To encourage DPRK’s full participation in all international organisations.

ends

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