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Letter regarding the visit of President Moon Jae-in

[Scoop note: The following letter was sent out to a number of relevant government officials prior to the visit of the South Korean president.]

Draft letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Foreign Minister Winston Peters on the December 2018 visit of President Moon Jae-in to New Zealand

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister of New Zealand

Hon Winston Peters
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Dear Ms Ardern and Mr Peters,

The Peace Foundation commends the government of New Zealand for inviting President Moon Jae-in to visit New Zealand in December this year and calls for you to use this occasion to give political and practical support for the Korea peace process initiated by President Moon.

The Korea peace process provides a unique and historical opening to finally end the Korean War, which was only halted in 1953 by an armistice agreement, and to forge a peaceful, denuclearized and more secure Korean Peninsula.

We respectfully urge you to use the occasion of the visit of President Moon to announce New Zealand support for the following measures to support the peace process:

1. Sanction relief. The comprehensive sanctions imposed by the United Nations on DPRK, including the additional sanctions imposed in late 2017, hinder humanitarian aid and economic cooperation, especially such cooperation between ROK and DPRK as envisaged in the Inter-Korean peace process.

In light of the changed circumstances since 2017, New Zealand should support the immediate lifting of some of these sanctions, as well as further sanction relief as other steps are taken on the Korean Peninsula to implement the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula and the 12 June 2018 Peace Agreement between USA and DPRK, with a view to lifting all sanctions once a verified denuclearisation agreement is achieved.

2. Sports and cultural process. President Moon opened the door to a peace process with DPRK through sports diplomacy – notably a joint team at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Feb 2018. President Moon and DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un are continuing to use sports and cultural diplomacy as an important part of the peace and reconciliation process.

New Zealand should support this process, and announce our participation in the PyeongChang Global Peace Forum, co-hosted by the Pyeongchang regional government and the ROK Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism in February 2019, the anniversary of the Olympic peace initiative.

3. UN Command. The UN Command in Korea, in which New Zealand participates, could play a positive role in assisting and verifying demilitarisation and confidence building measures in support of the peace process especially in the demilitarised zone. However, DPRK has expressed concerns that the UN Command is still being used by some of the participating countries as a vehicle for blocking the peace process.

New Zealand should announce that our participation in the UN Command is dedicated to assisting and verifying demilitarisation and confidence building measures in support of the peace process.

4. Diplomatic relations, cultural contacts and humanitarian aid.
In line with President Moon’s call for increased dialogue and diplomacy with DPRK, New Zealand could use the opportunity to announce an increase in humanitarian aid, cultural exchanges and diplomatic relations with DPRK as one means to support the Panmunjeom Declaration and the Korean peace process.

Yours sincerely

Disarmament and International Peace Committee
The Peace Foundation


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