17 August, 2012
Bilateral talks mark 50th anniversary
The 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and South Korea will be marked with bilateral discussions today.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is hosting Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Kim Sung-hwan in Auckland for discussions on regional and global issues.
“South Korea is a key regional partner for New Zealand and a growing presence globally,” Mr McCully says.
New Zealand and South Korea share a strong commitment to peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. New Zealand is an active participant in the UN Command Armistice Commission supporting management of the demilitarised zone on the border between South Korea and North Korea.
South Korea’s economic success has seen it develop from an aid recipient to a rapidly growing aid donor within a generation - contributing assistance to Pacific Island countries as well as leading new thinking on the role of aid.
South Korea is New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth more than $3 billion.
“We are looking to advance our negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, which would enhance the flow of trade, investment and people for the benefit of both our economies,” Mr McCully says.
Symbolising the breadth of ties, Mr McCully and Mr Sung-hwan will sign a new Antarctic Cooperation Agreement.
“This agreement paves the way for increased policy and logistical cooperation between New Zealand and South Korea on Antarctic issues,” Mr McCully says.