Monday 23 September 2019

'It's off' - Shane Ross confirms he won't be going to North Korea

Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

MINISTER Shane Ross has confirmed he and two other members of the Independent Alliance will not travel to North Korea for a proposed peace trip.

The alliance were thrown into crisis last week when it emerged that Minister of State John Halligan had written to the North Korean Embassy in London to propose a trip to the country along with Mr Ross and Minister of State Finian McGrath.

Mr Halligan said the trip would be to "ask Kim Jong Un to engage in democracy" and to discuss peace.

However, Mr Ross has now said this will not go ahead.

Speaking on RTE Prime Time tonight, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said he had not even seen the letter sent by Mr Halligan to the embassy.

"It's off," Mr Ross said.

"The trip to North Korea, it is not government policy and we are not doing anything which is in breach of government policy.

"This arose when we were in opposition many years ago, John, Finian and I spoke regularly about making trips abroad and doing things which were constructive, it was just an idea."

Asked about the letter Mr Halligan sent to the North Korean Embassy, Mr Ross said:

"A letter was probably written, I haven't seen that letter actually.

"It never developed to a stage where we were going, I don't think we even mentioned it to Sean Canney or to Boxer Moran," he added.

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