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Cablegate: Nz Ambassador Heads to Pyongyang

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWL #0272/01 0920500
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 020500Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4107
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0332
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 4803
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 0160
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 0247
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 0622
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000272

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/FO, EAP/K, AND EAP/ANP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/02/2017
TAGS: PREL PGOV KNNP KNAR NZ
SUBJECT: NZ AMBASSADOR HEADS TO PYONGYANG

Classified By: DCM David J. Keegan,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: During her April 3-7 trip to Pyongyang,
NZ's Ambassador to North Korea, Jane Coombs, will carry a
letter from Foreign Minister Peters urging the DPRK to comply
with the Six Party Talks. She will also note the GNZ's
willingness to contribute to the second tranche of energy
assistance in support of the Six-Party process, but she will
not provide any details about the timing or nature of the
help to be provided. NZ officials tell us they will follow
the recommendations of the Initial Action Agreement Energy
Working Group in designing NZ's assistance package and would
appreciate USG advice on what would be most beneficial. The
GNZ has limited ability to offer aid in kind or implement
programs on the ground, so its contributions are most likely
to be financial. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- ----------
NZ Message to DPRK: We'll Help, but Only if You Follow
Through on Denuclearization
--------------------------------------------- ----------

2. (C) On April 2, Pol-Econ Couns discussed New Zealand's
proposed energy assistance to the DPRK with Carolyn
Schwalger, Senior Policy Officer in the North Asian Division
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
Schwalger said the GNZ shares our desire to send a
consistent, clear message to the DPRK. For this reason, in
advance of her
April 3-7 trip to Pyongyang, Ambassador Coombs consulted with
Ambassador Vershbow and a range of South Korean officials in
Seoul. Coombs will carry with her to Pyongyang a letter
from Foreign Minister Peters to the Senior N. Korean Vice
Minister of Foreign Affairs urging the DPRK's full compliance
with the Six-Party Talks. Although Coombs will tell her DPRK
interlocutors that New Zealand is willing to contribute to
the second tranche of assistance under the Initial Action
Agreement, she will offer no details about what will be on
offer or when it will be provided. She will also tell all
her DPRK interlocutors that no assistance will be provided
absent N.Korea's implementation of its Initial Actions
Agreement commitments. Schwalger said that one reason NZ
wants to contribute to the second tranche and not the first
is so that the GNZ can see evidence that the DPRK is truly on
the path to denuclearization.

3. (C) Another reason that Coombs will provide no other
details during her trip is that the GNZ has not decided what
assistance it will offer. Ministers have agreed in principle
to contribute, but as PM Clark noted during her recent trip
to Washington, the GNZ will base its assistance package on
the recommendations of the Initial Actions Agreement Working
Group. Schwalger says that the GNZ hope that U.S. officials
in particular will give guidance on the most appropriate way
for New Zealand to offer help. NZ officials will also speak
with South Korean, Chinese, and other Six Party partners.

4. (C) Although the GNZ has not yet decided on its
assistance package, for practical reasons it is most likely
to provide financial assistance to a multilateral fund.
Schwalger said the level of assistance is likely to be along
the lines of what New Zealand donated to KEDO, about NZD
500,000 a year.

5. (C) Schwalger also noted that as has become the norm, it
was very difficult for Ambassador Coombs to get final DPRK
clearance for this annual visit. She only recently learned
that she could travel to Pyongyang from April 3-7, and
although she is already on the road she still has not
received confirmation about whom she will see. As there is
currently no Foreign Minister, Coombs has requested meetings
with both Vice Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as
officials in Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs, Human Rights,
and Policy Planning Bureaus. She has also asked to see
officials at the Trade Ministry, the Korean Workers Party,
and the City Government. Schwalger said that MFAT will
provide us with a read-out from the trip once Coombs returns
to Seoul.

------------------------------------
Background: NZ's Ties to North Korea
------------------------------------

6. (C) New Zealand established formal diplomatic relations
with North Korea in 2001. Official relations are carried out
through New Zealand's Ambassador in Seoul, who is
cross-accredited and travels to Pyongyang a few times a year.
(FYI: NZ's current Ambassador in Washington, Roy Ferguson,
was the NZ's first Ambassador to Seoul to travel to
Pyongyang.) Until recently, New Zealand contributed between
USD 517,000 - 690,000 in humanitarian aid to North Korea
annually, administered mostly through the World Food Program
and UNICEF. It has stopped all but minimal aid due to what
the GNZ calls the DPRK regime's ambivalence about receiving
assistance. Trade between the two countries is virtually
non-existent. New Zealand has three officers serving in the
UN Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) and the NZ
Defense Attache serves as an advisor and liaison to UNMAC as
well. The GNZ contributed about USD 3 million to the Korean
Peninsula Energy Development Corporation (KEDO) light water
reactor project before the project was terminated in November
2005.
McCormick

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