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Cablegate: Foreign Minister Peters Condemns N.Korea Missile

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000507

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D (FRITZ), EAP/FO, EAP/K, AND EAP/ANP
NSC FOR VICTOR CHA
SECDEF FOR OSD/ISD LIZ PHU
PACOM FOR JO1E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV NZ KN
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER PETERS CONDEMNS N.KOREA MISSILE
TESTS


Classified By: Pol-Econ Counselor Katherine Hadda,
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) On July 5, Foreign Minister Peters issued a
strongly-worded statement condemning North Korea's missile
tests. David Taylor, Director of the North Asian Division at
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) says that
Peters rang the Ministry from his official travels in Hungary
to express his concern about the tests and order the
statement be issued. Taylor said that when GNZ's Ambassador
to North Korea, Jane Coombs, presented her credentials in
Pyongyang two weeks ago, she bluntly told President Kim Yong
Nam that N.Korea should step down from its plans to test the
missiles and should return to the six-Party talks. He
responded that it was his country's sovereign right to do
tests and that many other countries do the same without
complaints being made. GNZ believes Coombs was the last
foreigner to speak with Kim before the tests.

2. (C) Taylor said that Coombs, who is based in Seoul, is
now liaising closely with the South Korean government.
Taylor, who visited Pyongyang 6 times during his own stint as
Ambassador in Seoul, said that the N.Koreans are "like
children" in their need to get attention but are usually good
at calculating risk. In this case, however, GNZ is unclear
on what is motivating them, and are particularly nonplused
that the N.Koreans did not even issue any warnings before the
missiles were launched. GNZ is watching the UN discussions on
the tests, and is ready to make statements as appropriate.
Taylor said that NZ's mission in New York had provided a copy
of Minister Peters' statement to Ambassador Bolton.

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3. (U) The following text is drawn from Peters' statement; a
complete text can be found at www.mfat.govt.nz:

"North Korea was advised clearly that missile testing would
be seen as a provocative step. These tests fuel concern
about North Korea's behavior, adding to ongoing worry about
its nuclear programmes and dismay that it has not rejoined
the Six Party talks.

"New Zealand's Ambassador conveyed our concerns in plain
language when she met with President Kim Yong Nam recently.

"North Korea is paranoid about its security, but this action
-- against the sound advice of its neighbors and the wider
international community -- can only do further harm to its
already tarnished reputation and may well lead to discussion
in the United Nations Security Council.

"I very much hope North Korea will step back now from taking
any more rash steps. Pyongyang should go back to the Six
Party talks as that is the only vehicle that can provide
step-by-step progress towards an improved security situation,
the removal of its nuclear weapons programmes and unlock
desperately needed development assistance funding."

McCormick

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