When Winston Peters was last in North Korea he tried to get the country to give up its nuclear aspirations but instead came away with a bird-watching agreement.
Peters was named as Foreign Minister again today and told media he hoped to "shoot higher" than that result, achieved when he last held the portfolio under the Helen Clark Labour Government.
"There are a number of things internationally which I think New Zealand has a capability of having a strong voice on. Even to the extent of we do not think that North Korea is an utterly hopeless case.
"We do not think for example that China is the reason why. We need to better understand that region and make our contribution. Albeit as a small country, but as an informed one."
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Peters said in 2007 he went to North Korea as Foreign Minister, part of a group that believed it might be possible to persuade the country to abandon its nuclear development programme in exchange for substantial economic development aid.
"We didn't succeed, but it was worth trying. We did though funnily enough get some success and ensured that 97,000 birds that transit North Korea to New Zealand - to Miranda - continue to get safe harbour because of those efforts. It was an unusual outcome, but maybe we can shoot higher this time and might possibly be successful."
Visits by bird conservationists to North Korea remained closed until Peters' 2007 visit. After being approached by Kiwi bird lovers, Peters raised the issue with North Korea officials who confirmed they would accept delegations from New Zealand.
The first was made in 2009, with three Kiwi bird enthusiasts completing a survey that provided the first shorebird information from North Korea. More visits have been made since then to count and watch birds.