INDEPENDENT NEWS

Stop money now Smith tells Goff

Published: Tue 5 Nov 2002 06:20 PM
Stop money now Smith tells Goff
The Foreign Minister’s proposal to have “dialogue” with North Korea over revelations that New Zealand taxpayers have been inadvertently contributing to its development of nuclear weapons is weak-kneed and inadequate, says National’s Environment spokesperson Nick Smith.
“The Minister should be loudly protesting North Korea’s blatant violation of its agreement to stop developing weapons, and our Government should stop any further payments and demand the $4.5 million back.
“The Minister was not even prepared to answer in Parliament whether or not he had sent a letter of protest to the North Koreans from the New Zealand Government,” says Dr Smith.
Dr Smith was successful in moving a motion in Parliament condemning the North Korean Government. The motion “That this Parliament condemn the ongoing development of nuclear weapons by the North Korean Government particularly in light of the generous contributions from countries like New Zealand that were conditional on nuclear weapon development ceasing”, was passed unanimously.
“Mr Goff has been too keen to blame National for agreeing to be part of the alternative energy programme. National acted in good faith in supporting this international effort and did not know until last week that North Korea had broken its agreement.
“Now we know, we must act and act firmly.
“North Korea’s actions are blatant cheek. To accept money from non-nuclear weapon countries like New Zealand, on the condition there is no further development of weapons, and then to secretly defy this commitment deserves the strongest possible objection,” says Dr Smith.

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