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European Council, Stockholm

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:05 pm on 26th March 2001.

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Photo of Baroness Jay of Paddington Baroness Jay of Paddington President of the Council, Privy Council Office 4:05 pm, 26th March 2001

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his commiserations and sympathy on the death of Lord Cocks. On the question of the visit to the Korean peninsula, the presidency raised the issue of whether or not the Prime Minister of Sweden should undertake a mission to North Korea. The UK Government supported and are supporting such a mission. But in our view and in the view of our European Union colleagues at Stockholm, some conditions or preconditions need to be fulfilled before we can think that such a visit would be useful. Those were set out and have been understood by both the Swedish presidency and the other members of the European Union. They include, for example, that the Democratic Republic of Korea should undertake to have further meetings between itself and the government to the south and that the Swedish Prime Minister, were he to visit North Korea, should raise issues such as human rights and other matters that are relevant and important to the European Union.