Prime Minister John Key plans to hitch a ride on the Korean President's Blackhawk helicopters to get around the East Asian republic.

Key arrived in Seoul late last night and will meet Korean President Lee Myung-bak in the capital this morning to push for a resumption of free trade talks which have been stalled for the past two years.

After the meeting he will be whisked to a nearby helipad, where two of the President's helicopters have been offered to carry Key and his entourage on the 25 minute trip to and from the Anzac memorial in Kapyong to lay a wreath.

The President's office offered the use of two helicopters on hearing Key wanted to visit the memorial, Key's spokeswoman said. It is almost a three-hour drive. Last time he was in Seoul he was unable to make the trip to the memorial which marks the valley where Australasian troops fought in the Korean War.


The helicopters are usually used by President Lee and his security guards. Key has arrived earlier than most leaders for the Nuclear Security Summit which means the helicopters have some down time.

In transport terms, Key is likely to find himself very much the poor cousin - many of the 54 leaders attending the summit have private planes.

Key will meet President Lee at the Blue House this morning and said he was very keen to get free trade talks back on track. South Korea halted negotiations with New Zealand and some other countries two years ago while it finished agreements with the US and the European Union.

Korea is New Zealand's fifth largest export market and goods sent there totalled $1.67 billion in 2011.