OSAKA — New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark wrapped up her visit to Japan in Osaka on Monday with a vow that her country will not give up trying to implement the Kyoto Protocol, despite a decision by neighboring Australia on Sunday that it would not sign the 1997 agreement to reduce greenhouse gases because doing so would be meaningless without U.S. participation.

“We are not giving up on the Kyoto Protocol,” Clark said. “New Zealand and Japan worked very hard to get it. We are encouraged that (U.S.) President (George W.) Bush has indicated that greenhouse gases are a problem, and we hope to find a way to bring the U.S. back into the process.”

In addition, Clark defended New Zealand’s decision to open diplomatic relations with North Korea, saying that the decision was more to support South Korea than any special relationship with the North.

“We want to support the ‘Sunshine Policy’ of (South Korean President) Kim Dae Jong, and felt that this was the best way to do so, although we have little in common with North Korea,” the prime minister said.

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