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Politics | North Korea

North Korea warns New Zealand to stop ‘military interference’ around Korean peninsula

Today North Korea warned New Zealand and several other US-allied countries to stop causing tension and instability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Democratic People’s Republic’s Foreign Ministry external policy chief condemned what was described as military interference under the guise of UNSC sanctions and said New Zealand, along with Germany and France, has dispatched “warships and warplanes” to the Asia-Pacific region as well as the waters around the Korean peninsula.

DPRK told western countries to consider the possibility that following the US could harm their own interests.

North Korea’s concerns could be New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes Anglosphere intelligence alliance, as well as Foreign Minister Winston Peters weighing up joining the US-led AUKUS military pact. North Korea is opposed to the pact and in late April, a North Korean international affairs analyst, Kang Jin Song, warned that the pact would turn the Asia-Pacific region into a nuclear minefield.

“The Democratic People’s Republic will take necessary measures to firmly defend the sovereignty and security of the state on the basis of a rigorous analysis of the negative influence being caused by the grave acts of some countries,” the statement said.

Asked for comment, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the New Zealand government had consistently outlined New Zealand’s opposition to North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes. They said the programmes violated United Nations Security Council resolutions which were an effort to peacefully apply pressure on North Korea and to encourage denuclearisation and abandon its “ballistic” missile programme.

“From mid-April to early May 2024, a Royal New Zealand Airforce P-8A Poseidon aircraft engaged in monitoring and surveillance activities of illicit maritime activities, including ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean-flagged vessels, prohibited by the UNSC resolutions. This follows New Zealand’s regular contributions to sanctions monitoring in 2018, 2019, and 2021,” the MFAT spokesperson said.