Sunday, May 19, 2024

Foreign Minister hits out at North Korea’s ‘aggressive rhetoric’

Foreign Minister, Winston Peters has today expressed regret at North Korea’s “aggressive rhetoric” towards New Zealand and its international partners. 

“New Zealand proudly stands with the international community in upholding the rules-based order through its monitoring and surveillance deployments, which it has been regularly doing alongside partners since 2018,” Mr Peters said in a statement. 

“North Korea, through its aggressive rhetoric and its supply of military related technologies to Russia in support of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, once again threatens peace and stability in our region. 

“North Korea would better serve its people by meaningfully re-engaging with the international community through diplomacy rather than threats,” he said.

As Foreign Minister in the mid-2000s, Mr Peters supported the Six Party talks aimed at negotiating an end to North Korea’s nuclear programme, and travelled to Pyongyang. 

“The window existed then for a diplomatic solution that had the potential to see North Korea abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. If it had taken that sensible step then, North Korea and its citizens would today be a more secure and prosperous nation,” Mr Peters said today. 

“Instead, North Korea continues to defy UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions. The UNSC sanctions regime is a key element of the global effort to peacefully apply pressure on North Korea to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile programme.

“It is never too late for diplomacy to achieve what Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes never will, namely the reintegration of North Korea into the peaceful community of nations. Only then will its people have the full opportunity for the security and prosperity that a stable and peaceful region can offer,” he said.

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