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Peters to visit North Korea and US; attend EAS

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

8 November 2007

Peters to visit North Korea and US; attend EAS

Foreign Minister Winston Peters leaves on Monday for a two-day visit to North Korea; talks in Washington, and the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Singapore.

Mr Peters’ trip to North Korea next Thursday and Friday is in response to an invitation from his counterpart Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun.

As well as talks with Mr Pak, Mr Peters is scheduled to meet President Kim Young-Nam, and the Ministers of Trade and Agriculture.

“This visit is an opportunity to reinforce with North Korea the importance of fully declaring and dismantling its nuclear programmes, and to express New Zealand’s strong support for the Six Party Talks process,” Mr Peters said.

“It comes at a critical juncture. A team of US experts are currently working with North Korean scientists to disable core nuclear facilities.

“The visit to North Korea will be on the agenda when I meet with senior officials of the US Administration in Washington on 19 November.

“In the interests of regional security, New Zealand, along with a number of other countries, stands ready to help North Korea’s economic development once it has abandoned its plans to develop nuclear weapons,” Mr Peters said.

“Recent developments in Fiji and Myanmar are also likely to be discussed, along with other current bilateral, regional, and international issues.

“This latest opportunity to meet with senior US officials is a further indication of the increasing level of our dialogue and co-operation,” Mr Peters said.

At the East Asia Summit in Singapore, issues likely to be discussed include the climate change/energy declaration to be issued in Singapore by leaders, and the situation in Myanmar. Mr Peters will also cover his visit to North Korea with a number of Foreign Ministers during side meetings at the Summit.

ENDS

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