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New Zealand’s first Ambassador to North Korea


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

23 November 2001

New Zealand’s first Ambassador to North Korea

A New Zealand Ambassador has been accredited to North Korea for the first time, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

New Zealand Ambassador to South Korea Roy Ferguson has been cross-accredited to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK), presenting his credentials in Pyongyang. This follows on from the establishment of diplomatic relations with the DPRK in March.

“Following last year’s successful Summit Meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea, New Zealand decided it could support reconciliation on the Korean Peninsular by opening diplomatic relations with the North.

“During his visit to Pyongyang Ambassador Ferguson discussed a wide range of issues relevant to New Zealand’s interests in the region. This included urging the North to continue working with the South by implementing the Joint Declaration made at last year’s summit.

“Mr Ferguson encouraged the North to recommence talks with the United States and join international efforts against terrorism. The New Zealand delegation also put forward its views on a range of non-proliferation issues including the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Chemical and Biological weapons and missile proliferation.

“I am pleased the DPRK has agreed to continue dialogue on human rights issues. It was clear during the delegation’s visit that humanitarian needs are still considerable both in terms of food and development assistance.

“Currently there is little trade between New Zealand and the DPRK. However, in the long term North Korea’s electricity generation sector may offer some offshore opportunities.

“There is scope for more exchanges and positive engagement between New Zealand and the DPRK but this will depend on the pace of the North/South relations. Our overwhelming interest is to see North and South Korea move toward lasting peace on the Korean Peninsular,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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