Winston Peters confident in North Korea talks

Winston Peters confident in North Korea talks
Photo credit: Getty

Winston Peters says he is confident an international meeting with North Korea will see good outcomes.

The Foreign Affairs Minister is in Canada alongside 20 other nations to discuss what to do with the rogue nation's nuclear programme.

Mr Peters told Newshub it's vital they come up with workable solutions.

"The international community has to deal with everybody's response, not just the North Koreans.

"[We must] do our upmost to ensure we act in concert here, in the interest of humanity worldwide. That's what the object should be and that's what we've got to keep focused on."

He says New Zealand is committed to implementing UN sanctions effectively.

North and South Korea have agreed to hold working talks on Wednesday regarding the North sending athletes to next month's Winter Olympics in the South, Seoul's unification ministry said.

The North asked for the meeting to be held at Peace House on the South Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone that divides the two Koreas, the ministry said in a statement.

Mr Peters believes the communication shows promise.

"Whatever it is, it's a glimmer of hope and progress. And we haven't had much of that lately."

New Zealand's role

An international relations expert says New Zealand has an important role to play in the denuclearisation of North Korea.

Professor Stephen Hoadley from Auckland University says Mr Peters brings a unique authority to the table.

"He'll come with a great track record. New Zealand is the first country in the world with a legislated nuclear-free policy and be able to add a little bit of moral weight to the argument rather than political or military weight."

More than 80 nuclear tests have been conducted since Kim Jong-Un rose to power in 2011.

Prof Hoadley says Mr Peters is not unknown to the regime.

"Winston Peters can portray himself as one of the few foreign ministers at the conference who has had direct contact with the regime.

"He can point out New Zealand's recognised the people's Democratic Republic of Korea way back in the 2000s."

Last week New Zealand joined 17 countries by pledging to enforce United Nations sanctions on North Korea.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: