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Transcript of Prime Minister's remarks following visit to the Demilitarised Zone, Korea



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PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT OF PRIME MINISTER'S REMARKS FOLLOWING VISIT TO THE DEMILITARISED ZONE, KOREA, 23/6/93

Well, I think in this visit I have had the opportunity of developing a very good relationship, I think, with the President, Kim Young-Sam, and given the fact that it is the beginning of his five years in office this, for Australia, I think is a good thing. That is, that we have struck up what I think is a warm personal relationship which I hope will endure now in our countries terms at least for the tenure of this

Presidency. The other matter which I think we have succeeded in getting across is the fact that Australia shouldn't be viewed simply as a producer of raw materials. That it is a producer of sophisticated products; that we have a deep research and development base and I think this is being understood in Korea. That people here know now that even though we supply them with iron ore and coking coal, we are also a supplier of high technology goods - manufactured goods - and that we can do much in joint ventures with them, as well as supply them. And finally, I think that we have been able to develop a further consensus of view about the importance of APEC and pushing the APEC agenda along so that at the November meeting in the

United States we can make positive headway in APEC's trade liberalising role.

Well my impression of the demilitarised zone, I think, the obvious one, and that is that thirty million people have lived behind it for forty years, for forty years a very large population has had, really, no joy - and none of the fruits of growth and prosperity which the rest of the world has had. So that's a first dismal effect and observation I would make about ir. The other is that it just highlights just how successful the Korean Government, the Government of South Korea had been - the Republic of Korea - in developing a modern economy with this threat almost at its

border, within an hour from its capital city, within an hour from Seoul. And the tension which the country has lived under has been quite profound. So one hopes that with the effluxion of time Korea will be a reunited country and we will not see people living under this threat or thirty million people living in the relative poverty which they do in North Korea.

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