21:10 GMT29 May 2020
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    Senior officials within the New Zealand and South Korean governments held discussions on Monday to consider options for maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.

    The foremost issue threatening the Peninsula’s security, they stressed, is North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons capabilities. “The international community should respond to North Korea’s military provocations of nuclear missile test with pressure and sanctions,” the South Korean foreign ministry said, “but only in a way that eventually brings the North to the negotiating table.”

    Wellington recognizes that a peaceful situation between the two Koreas is essential for maintaining peace across the Asia Pacific region “and beyond,” Yonhap News Agency noted. Five New Zealand Defense Force officers are currently stationed on the Korean Peninsula, where the Kiwis have maintained a presence since 1998.

    New Zealand Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee reiterated his support for South Korea while expressing resolve to prevent the growth of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The diplomat has previously stressed New Zealand’s "strong belief” that “North Korea needs to start behaving responsibly and contribute to — instead of threatening — the stability of the region.


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