Friday 23 August 2019

Halligan keeps the door open for peace mission to Pyongyang

Junior Minister John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke
Junior Minister John Halligan. Photo: Tom Burke

Alan O'Keeffe

Embattled Minister John Halligan has left the door open for a potential visit to North Korea.

While stating the proposed trip appears unlikely, Mr Halligan said he had been in touch with the United Nations (UN), which he said had set out a "peculiar" perspective around such a move.

Mr Halligan revealed last week that he hoped to travel to North Korea with his fellow Independent Alliance ministers Shane Ross and Finian McGrath to discuss peace with politicians there and to "ask Kim Jong-un to engage in democracy".

Mr Ross said that the proposed peace mission was now off and Mr Halligan agreed with him yesterday. Speaking on the 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' programme on RTÉ Radio One, Mr Halligan said: "It appears to be off, I don't want to engage in controversy, I want to tell the truth.

"I'm not going to row back on that I am a great believer in conflict resolution, I feel that if you can talk to people, why not?

"I make this point that we're politicians in Ireland and we're as good as politicians all around the world."

However, the Waterford TD said that he had contacted the UN over the proposed trip and that he would make his views known in the future.

It is understood that Independent Alliance TDs Kevin 'Boxer' Moran and Seán Canney are furious over the controversy.

Irish Independent

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