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Speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Seoul on Thursday 19 June 1975



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N E W S R E L E A S E

NQ D A T E

23 June 1975

SPEECH BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

AT SEOUL ON THURSDAY 19 JUNE 1975

The following is the text of a speech given by the ' Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. D. R. Willesee at Dinner hosted by Kim Dong-Jo, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, at Seoul on Thursday 19 June., 1975.

"Mr Foreign Minister, ladies and gentlemen. When my wife and I arrived at Seoul airport this afternoon I told the press that I was especially looking forward to talks with senior members of your Government. I have only been here a few hours and

already I have met with you, with your Prime'Minister, and with the Mayor of this great and dynamic city. I look forward to meeting President Park Chung Hee tomorrow.

"I think this speed amply demonstrates the interest of both our governments in maintaining and developing what are already good and sound relations. '

"I enjoyed my discussions with you this afternoon. These reflected the frankness and ready understanding by each of our governments of the other's views on the complex problems facing north Asia,

"This tour to the four capitals of north Asia is an indication that our recognition of governments is based on a principle that we should recognise realities. That is why we moved to recognise the Government of the Democratic Peoples

Republic of Korea. It did not reduce our recognition of your government. We recognise the right of any government to its views and any people to choose their way of life. We agree in your objective of reunification and in your concern that that be achieved only by peaceful means. The plain fact as we see it is

that the people in neither half of Korea are likely to give up

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their ways and change .completely in the foreseeable future simply for the sake of reunification. Nor would it make sense for either part of Korea to go to war, since that would certainly sacrifice all that each has achieved in its own way.

"The Australian people have long admired the efforts of the Korean people in building your prosperous country. My colleague Mr Crean, our Minister for Overseas Trade, has today been visiting industrial centres with your Minister for Commerce

and Industry, Mr Chang. It's a pity they couldn't join us tonight. I understand the joint trade talks that ended yesterday were a success and that you yourself joined Mr Crean in signing a new trade agreement between our governments.

"We also have contacts between our scientific communities, and tomorrow I will visit your Institute of Science and Technology. On Saturday, I will visit our successful joint venture in raising sheep at Unbong - under the Colombo Plan.

"We have a very substantial cultural program. Cultural exchanges are important to better understanding between our peoples. We know from these exchanges that our people are welcome here, and I hope your people feel at home when they visit Australia.

"I look forward to the rest of my visit to the Republic of Korea and I look forward to our continued and growing relations in many fields."