NZ briefed on secret US action coming in Asia-Pacific

The United States government has given a top-level briefing to Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters about an impending action in the Asia-Pacific.

It is believed Mr Peters will at some point be taken into North Korea by the West as a sort of liaison. He's been there before, and he may yet go there again at the request of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the United States.

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson briefed Mr Peters in Manila at the East Asia summit, at the same time as Donald Trump sent a tweet that a "major statement" was coming.

It was his second meeting with Mr Tillerson in the last week.

NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Photo credit: Newshub.

"Tillerson called, and he wants New Zealand to be engaged in something, and you will learn more in the next few days," said Mr Peters.

Mr Peters has told Ms Ardern of the action, but both declined to comment on whether it was linked to Mr Trump's Twitter post.

The latter commented that "one would be unwise to predict the nature of any of the President's tweets".

Mr Peters told reporters the issue has to do with the Asia-Pacific region, but he wouldn't mention what it is before he and Ms Ardern have been fully briefed.

"He asked me to have a meeting, but I can't tell you about the details of it," he said.

"It's to do with this region and initiatives coming in the future, but it would be remiss of me - the Prime Minister has been fully informed of it - to divulge what it was about until we know."

The announcement Mr Trump makes this week is likely to be about trade or the looming threat of North Korea. Ms Ardern said she had "agreed to all action" in North Korea, except for military action.