Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the Republic of Korea intend to work together on capacity-building projects in the Pacific.
“We welcome Korea’s interest in increasing its engagement with New Zealand and Pacific Island countries,” said Mr Peters.
“New Zealand reiterates its commitment to working with South Korea, the US and other partners to achieve long-lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula including through denuclearisation of North Korea in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.”
Ahead of the inaugural Air New Zealand direct flight to Seoul in November, Mr Peters highlighted that eGate access to New Zealand has been extended to Korean passport holders, effective from 29 October 2019.
Mr Peters and Minister Kang also signed a bilateral Social Security Agreement announced during President Moon Jae-In’s visit to New Zealand in December 2018. The first with an Asian country, the agreement will make it easier for citizens of both countries who have lived in the other, to access pensions.
“The large Korean population in New Zealand is evidence of the vibrant people and cultural exchange between our two countries,” Mr Peters said.
To further enhance this, Mr Peters confirmed that under a new North Asia Young Business Leaders’ Initiative young New Zealand entrepreneurs will visit South Korea in early 2020.