A Cautious Start: Paul Bellamy Reflects on the Early Years of New Zealand-North Korea Relations

By Bellamy, Paul | New Zealand International Review, November-December 2012 | Go to article overview

A Cautious Start: Paul Bellamy Reflects on the Early Years of New Zealand-North Korea Relations


Bellamy, Paul, New Zealand International Review


New Zealand--North Korean relations were challenging during the 1970s but provided foundations for later diplomatic relations established in 2001. Against the Cold War's background, New Zealand's position was primarily shaped by the view that the authoritarian regime's foreign policy was aggressive and unsophisticated, the priority given to relations with South Korea, and the stance of friends and allies. The New Zealand--DPRK Society played a key role promoting relations between both countries during this period. Bilateral relations continue to be challenging and caution remains important in interacting with the North. However, the need for dialogue fostering mutual trust, transparency, and co-operation is even more important today.

Gradual moves to build New Zealand-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) relations during the 1970s provided the foundations for later diplomatic relations. With increased interaction between the two countries this year, a review of New Zealand's position and factors shaping the relationship is timely. The New Zealand government's perspective is mainly derived from archival material held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Immigration Service and Security Intelligence Service. The activities of the New Zealand--DPRK Society, which promotes relations between the two countries, are also outlined using material from the society's archives. (1)

The 1970s witnessed the promotion of bilateral relations, generally unsuccessfully, by North Korea and some New Zealanders. The North Korean ambassador in China met Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Walding during his March and October 1973 Chinese visits, though the government was not 'particularly anxious' for a proposed North Korean visit to New Zealand to occur.

It was within this context that the decision was made in December 1973 to form a society to 'further good relations' between New Zealand and North Korea, inform the public, sponsor visits and 'try and influence the Government to establish official relations'. With a provisional committee formed, the New Zealand--DPRK Society was established in March 1974. Leading society members included senior academics Wolfgang Rosenberg and William Willmott, along with the Reverend Don Borrie. Borrie's regular contact with the North had started in 1971, and Rosenberg visited in the following year. Rosenberg wrote that his impression was 'of an overwhelming economic success'. Indeed North Korea was 'one of the most potent sources of optimism for the possibility of a world free from hunger'. With the society hoping to establish branches throughout New Zealand, a Christchurch branch was formed in March 1974, amidst what it claimed was 'somewhat distorted' media coverage of this development. A Wellington branch followed in September. Influenced by a desire to avoid left-wing ideological splits based on Chinese or Soviet interpretations of socialism, the society gave priority to forming a small national network over securing mass membership.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

After Pyongyang asked the provisional committee if a delegation could be received, Walding said in May 1974 that a private, society-sponsored delegation entering on special travel documents was possible. Four North Koreans duly arrived in Christchurch during July to promote relations with a cultural exhibition. The society and Chinese diplomats met them. Their three-week stay included a visit to Wellington. At the exhibitions opening, Willmott said that it marked 'the very beginning of what we hope will be increasing exchange between us'. He expressed his delight that the visit had occurred so soon after the society's establishment. The delegation felt their visit went 'very well', and Rosenberg called it a 'great success'. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the exhibition 'very harmless', the New Zealanders 'doing all the answering of questions from the few members of the wide-eyed public who strolled in'. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Cautious Start: Paul Bellamy Reflects on the Early Years of New Zealand-North Korea Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.