DPR-Korea New Zealand is a non-governmental organisation with a focus on promoting diplomatic and cultural relations, economic growth, understanding and friendship between North Korea and New Zealand. DPR-Korea New Zealand was launched on 4 May, 2012, and is independent of any political ideology, economic interest, religion or government.
Mr Karim Dickie, Executive Administrator of DPR-Korea New Zealand, believes New Zealand should focus on developing a constructive relationship with North Korea based on mutual trust and respect. “Engagement doesn’t mean endorsement of policies and practices. Most importantly, our position as an independent and nuclear free nation with no expansionist agenda makes New Zealand the ideal candidate.” Mr Dickie argues that “any change in North Korea must come from the Korean people themselves.” New Zealand can facilitate change by providing opportunities for North Koreans to be educated abroad, so they can absorb outside information and ideas necessary to move the country toward reform. “The young generation are the future, and this is where our focus should be,” he added. People-to-people contact through cultural, academic and sporting exchange should be encouraged.
We need to recognise that differences are inevitable and that relations must be based upon realism and not perception, reliability and not unpredictability. If New Zealand is genuine in its commitment to human rights and a world free from nuclear weapons, we need to reassess how we engage with North Korea.
– Karim Dickie, Executive Administrator
Karim Dickie first visited North Korea in April 2011 as a tourist. In 2012, under invite by the DPRK Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, he visited again as part of the Oceania Preparatory Committee, “representing all New Zealanders … looking forward to friendship with [the] Korean people.” – Pak Kyong Il, Chairman, Korea-New Zealand Society.
Prior to this visit, Mr Dickie organised an art exchange between Lower Hutt’s Naenae Primary School and Pyongyang’s Ryongbok Middle School, which since 2004 has come to also be known as the Korea-New Zealand Friendship School. “With art pieces drawn by these school children with juvenile minds in Pyongyang and New Zealand, I think this will be much meaningful.” – Hwang Sung Chol, Secretary General, Korea New Zealand Society.
During his 2012 visit Mr Dickie met government officials including Kim Jong Suk, Chairwoman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, Kim Jin Bom, Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and Vice-Chairman of the Korean Committee for Solidarity with World People, Presidium Member Mr Pak Yong Gun, Kim Jong Hun, Secretary of the Korean National Peace Committee. He also made a courtesy call on President Kim Yong-Nam, Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly, at the Mansudae Assembly Hall. Mr Dickie also submitted a speech and participated in the International Conference Supporting the Reunification of Korea.
In June 2012, Mr Dickie received a senior-level delegation from the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The delegation was led by Mr Kim Myong Gil – Director-General of Asia and Oceanic Countries. Mr Kim was previously the DPRK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York.
In November 2012, Mr Dickie co-hosted a friendship delegation in New Zealand. The delegation included two English-language teachers and the Chairman and General Secretary of the Korea New Zealand Society. In July 2013, Dickie made his third visit to North Korea for the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. During his stay he met Kim Yong-Nam, President of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Pak Ui-Chun, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hong Son Ok, General Secretary of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and other officials.
Mr Dickie has given interviews to The Washington Post, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Radio Free Asia, 3News, SBS Dateline and other media outlets. His interaction with the DPRK has also been mentioned in the 2011 and 2012 Nov/Dec issues of the New Zealand International Review (NZIR). He has studied film and media at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and defence and international development at Massey University.
Disclaimer: DPR-Korea New Zealand is independent of any political ideology, economic interest, religion or government, including the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [Jakarta], the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, and the Korea-New Zealand Society. Please note, DPR-Korea New Zealand is not the NZ-DPRK Society (est. 1974).