Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have repeatedly thrust the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the DPRK or North Korea) onto the centre stage of international relations. These tensions have caused global concern, including in New Zealand, which did not establish diplomatic relations with the North until 2001. Here relations from the early 1970s, with a focus on the development and creation of diplomatic relations, are briefly described. The New Zealand Government’s perspective is primarily conveyed through Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (the Ministry), New Zealand Immigration Service and Security Intelligence Service archival material. The activities of the New Zealand-DPRK Society (the Society) established in 1974 to promote relations are outlined via its archives. Additional information has been gathered through interviews.
Please note that the views expressed here are not necessarily those of the author’s employer or those organisations and individuals that assisted. He is most grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (particularly Neil Robertson), Department of Labour, Archives New Zealand, Security Intelligence Service, Reverend Don Borrie, Professor Bill Willmott and all those interviewed.