Prime Minister meets with Korean President Moon Jae-in

Our shared values and challenges, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the opportunity to do more together were features of the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in today in Auckland. 

“New Zealand and the Republic of Korea have a strong relationship, founded on the Korean War almost 70 years ago,” Jacinda Ardern said. 

“President Moon and I discussed a wide range of issues including inclusive and sustainable growth, global challenges such as climate change and working to secure a denuclearised Korean Peninsular.

“We also discussed regional cooperation and expressed our respective support and interest in New Zealand’s Pacific Reset and Korea’s New Southern Policy.”

Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand will be enabling eGate access to Korean passport holders in 2019 and that New Zealand and Korea hoped to conclude a Social Security Agreement in the near future.

“Strong people-to-people links underpin the New Zealand-Korea relationship. These changes will make it easier for Kiwis and Koreans to access their pension when based in either country, and for Korean visitors to come to New Zealand.

“Our two-way trade, worth well over $4 billion, is delivering benefits for both New Zealanders and Koreans. I encouraged Korea to look at the opportunity CPTPP accession would offer from a longer term strategic and commercial perspective.”

Jacinda Ardern also expressed her support for the diplomatic process underway with North Korea.

“New Zealand’s stance on nuclear non-proliferation is clear and it is our hope that 2019 will see further progress towards achieving denuclearisation of North Korea in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula.

“New Zealand’s existing deployment of six personnel to the United Nations Command on the Korean Peninsula demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the peace process.”   

Note to editors:

eGate: The timing is likely to be in the first half of 2019 but a specific date will be confirmed once final testing has been completed.  Korea will likely become the 12th country with eGate access to New Zealand. New Zealand is gradually moving to give e-Gate access to visitors from more countries that use ePassports.

Social Security Agreement: This will strengthen our people-to-people ties by facilitating better access to pension entitlements for people who have spent time in each country. The Agreement is pending Cabinet approval.

Persons covered by the Agreement will be able to use both New Zealand residence and contributions to the Korean pension system to help them qualify for pension payments from either country

Residents of Korea will be able to apply for payments covered by the Agreement (normally applicants need to be resident in New Zealand on the date of application).