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Labour urges more action on Korean situation

Labour urges more action on Korean situation

It is not good enough simply for the government to say that it is outraged at the North Korean shelling of the island of Yeonpyeong last week and the escalation of tensions in the Korean peninsula, says Opposition Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Maryan Street.

“China is calling for urgent action to defuse the situation and our government should be adding its diplomatic effort to that call. Over the weekend, Beijing called for envoys of the six nations which comprise the original six-party talks on security issues, to attend an emergency meeting in Beijing.

“The New Zealand government should be actively supporting that call,” said Maryan Street.

“The Six-Party talks were aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the security concerns resulting from North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, and were originally convened as a result of North Korea withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003. Through all the subsequent talks, New Zealand played an active support role, particularly in pursuit of a nuclear weapons-free region and we should offer to do that again,” said Maryan Street.

“North Korea walked out of those talks in April 2009. But its closest ally, China, is now calling for an urgent meeting of the six powers (North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the USA).

“We should be lending our support to that call, not simply being outraged,” said Maryan Street.

ENDs

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