WikiLeaks cable: Response to N Korea nuclear test announcement

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

October 11, 2006

SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR TEST ANNOUNCEMENT

1. (C) In response to reftel, CDA Keegan delivered talking points this afternoon to David Taylor, Director North Asia Division at New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) accompanied by Carolyn Schwalger, Senior Policy Officer in the North Asia Division at MFAT.


2. (C) Mr. Taylor responded that he saw his government and the U.S. heading in the same direction on this issue. He was grateful that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peters had an opportunity to talk on the phone in depth with Secretary Rice regarding North Korea (DPNK). Taylor went on to say that New Zealand (NZ) is closely following the actions of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and emphasized that the challenge
remains to find ways to impose sanctions in ways that move the issue in a constructive, or at least less dangerous, direction. In the short term, NZ will be guided by what comes out of the UNSC, but are looking beyond the Security Council action to what else they can do.

Taylor admitted that in implementing the financial aspects of UNSC resolution 1695, the NZ Parliament would need to pass additional legislation.

He went on to say that although it was too early to stop current humanitarian assistance to DPNK that there are no plans to provide additional assistance. Currently, NZ has very lttle contact with North Korea, very little assistance and essentially no commerce or financial flows. Nonetheless, they are looking at ways to ensure that they have all the necessary means to act.

3. (C) NZ is planning to discuss this topic at upcoming regional meetings, such as APEC, as well as its normal round of regional bilateral meetings and is reiterating its concern over DPNK actions at these events. Minister of Defense and Trade, Phil Geoff will be in Japan and South Korea in two weeks and will also deliver his government's concerns regarding the actions of DPNK. While in Korea he will meet with General Bell, Commander of U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) in
order to get a more in depth briefing. Taylor also shared that Minister Peters has been actively encouraging China to do more to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

4. (C) In the past few day, Taylor noted that Foreign Minister Peters has been saying that one should not necessarily conclude that DPNK is a nuclear state simply because of one test. Taylor added that NZ would appreciate being informed of any U.S. technical assesments as to whether
this event was in fact nuclear and a successful test.

5. (C) Taylor revealed that he had heard some talk among the diplomatic community, especially from the British that dispite DPNK's withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a legal argument may be made to help bolster a case with the Chinese (PRC) that they need to take stronger action against DPNK.

Keegan

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