Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, will travel to the Republic of Korea today to attend the Korea–Pacific Leaders’ Summit in Seoul and Busan.
“Korea is an important partner for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region. I am eager for the opportunity to meet and discuss issues that matter to our region: climate change, economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, development cooperation, oceans and fisheries, and sea-level rise,” Ms Mahuta said.
The Korea–Pacific Leaders’ Summit will be hosted by Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol and Prime Minister, Han Duck-soo.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is joining with other Pacific Island Forum Leaders attending the Summit so that our voice can be heard, as we speak as one – as Pacific whanau – on our shared Pacific priorities.”
“Korea has been a Forum Dialogue Partner since 1995 and continues to demonstrate its commitment to the Pacific. Aotearoa New Zealand looks forward to connecting more with Korea in the region,” Minister Mahuta said.
In Seoul, she will meet with her counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Park Jin, and will deliver a national statement on ‘Preserving maritime zones in the face of climate change related sea-level rise’.
The Minister will also host an event for Aotearoa New Zealand and Korean businesses to build connections and promote Aotearoa New Zealand’s brand in Korea, which is now Aotearoa New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner.
In Busan, Ms Mahuta will visit the United Nations Memorial and Cemetery to pay her respects to the New Zealanders who fought in the Korean War and lay a wreath for the 34 Aotearoa New Zealand soldiers buried there.
She will also visit Aotearoa New Zealand soldiers serving at the Demilitarised Zone on the border between North and South Korea, and underline Aotearoa New Zealand’s support for maintaining peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
“This year marks 70 years since the signing of the Armistice in Korea that brought the fighting to an end. These moments of reflection encourage us all to focus on the need for peace. Building strong relationships between nations is a key to that,” the Minister said.