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Maritime interdiction force for North Korea.

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Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs


Could Mr Downer please tell us exactly what he is proposing?

The concept of a maritime interdiction force aimed at preventing the illegal trafficking of narcotics and trade in ballistic missiles should be considered further.

The Federal Opposition considers that the export of narcotics, missile systems and related technologies by any regime in the world is so repugnant that it warrants the consideration of extraordinary measures to prevent it.

Regrettably Mr Downer has not seen fit to publicly articulate what specific proposal he intends to put to the relevant governments - and to the United Nations on this matter.

Mr Downer should do so as a matter of urgency, rather than simply hide behind anonymous briefings by anonymous officials.

Australians are still waiting for action by Mr Downer on the outstanding matter of the Pong Su and the apparent illegal shipment into this country of $220 million of heroin.

What we continue to have from Mr Downer is the language of hairy-chestedness on these matters but a lack of concrete action.

The Federal Opposition stands ready to work with the Government on this important matter of national security - but we want to see is action, not simply words.

Ends 11 June 2003

Further information: Alister Jordan on 0417 605 823