DPR-Korea New Zealand

Promoting diplomatic and cultural relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and New Zealand.

Semi-Official Dialogue

“Both countries should work together towards peace and co-operation.”

– DPRK Ambassador to Indonesia & New Zealand, 1999

New Zealand began semi-official dialogue with North Korea in the late 1990s. This developed with the Cold War’s conclusion, increased DPRK-ROK contact, countries like Australia reassessing relations with the DPRK, and recognition that dialogue was important in resolving Korean Peninsula tensions. In 1996 the Acting Director of the North’s Institute for Peace and Disarmament visited New Zealand, and during a 1999 visit the DPRK Ambassador to Indonesia said “both countries should work together towards peace and co-operation”.8

A New Zealand diplomat (Heather Riddell) visited the DPRK for the first time in August 1997, followed shortly afterwards by a New Zealand Customs Service visit with the United Nations (UN). In July 2000 Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Hon. Phil Goff met the DPRK Foreign Minister in Thailand. The joint communiqué said establishing official state relations “tallies with the international trend of reconciliation and cooperation and is beneficial to regional peace, security and prosperity”. Furthermore, “they agreed to positively develop the bilateral relations and continue dialogue and cooperation in [the] regional and international arena”.9


8 ‘Proposal to end divisions’ 1999. New Zealand Herald,
9 Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). 2000. ‘Joint communiqué on meeting of DPRK and New Zealand
foreign ministers’, 29 July. Accessed 19 May 2012. Available from http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2000/200007/