New Zealand Embassy Seoul, South Korea
Ambassador Rata presents credentials in Pyongyang
Ambassador Patrick Rata visited North Korea from 17 to 21 September, where he formally assumed his role as New Zealand’s representative to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by presenting credentials to the President of the Supreme People’s Presidium, Kim Yong-nam. During the visit, Ambassador Rata had discussions with President Kim, Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun and numerous other senior officials. He expressed New Zealand’s hopes for, and ongoing commitment to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, including on the Korean Peninsula, and highlighted New Zealand’s commitment to denuclearisation. Ambassador Rata encouraged North Korea to see the benefits of working constructively with the international community, including through adherence to international obligations and agreements.
Ambassador Rata took the opportunity to visit several communities outside of Pyongyang, including the Sambong Cooperative Farm and orphanages and a hospital working with the World Food Programme in Sariwon city. This provided useful insights into the economic and humanitarian situation in North Korea. He also met with international NGOs and United Nations organisations, held discussions with diplomatic colleagues, and met several Kiwis resident in Pyongyang.