Government should probe accusations that covert Kiwis planned to smuggle North Koreans

Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke will be asking the Government to investigate the truth behind reports that New Zealanders were involved in American efforts to smuggle North Korean scientists out of China.

A report in the Weekend Australian claimed New Zealanders played key roles in smuggling up to 20 North Korean scientists and weapons experts to the US using Nauru.

“To keep our name clean, the Government needs to thoroughly investigate this and tell the public what it finds out,” said Mr Locke.

“The actions of our nationals in the affairs of other countries reflect directly on us, regardless of whether our Government sanctioned them or not.

“It would be worrying if any Kiwis were involved in trying to set up a bogus Nauru embassy in Beijing, as the Australian article contends. Our country has long upheld the protocols surrounding diplomatic missions.

“It wouldn’t help relations with Beijing if any of our citizens were misusing an embassy to spirit North Koreans out of China.”

Mr Locke said this type of smuggling did not advance world peace.

“We should reassert our support for multilateral efforts to bring North Korea back into the fold and to stop it developing nuclear weapons.

“Any US-led covert action against North Korea would undermine this.”