Foreign Minister Murray McCully has condemned the shelling by North Korea of the civilian population on an island in South Korea.
"The attack represents a new and dangerous level of aggression by the DPRK regime, coming in the wake of the DPRK attack on the South Korean vessel, the Cheonan," Mr McCully said.
"This is a time for cool heads in order to avoid this clash escalating into a more serious threat to the stability of the region. It is also a time in which the DPRK's neighbours should leave them in no doubt that their actions are unacceptable.
"New Zealand joins other countries in expressing our sense of outrage over this attack and the consequent loss of life."