Foreign ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday, August 5, issued a statement supporting initiatives to improve peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
“We support initiatives to improve inter-Korean relations towards establishing permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula. ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said, which was read by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Acting Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar in a press briefing in Conrad Hotel Manila.
The ASEAN top diplomats expressed their grave concern over the escalating tensions in the peninsula as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the official name of North Korea, has continued to carry out missile tests, with the most recent testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) on July 4 and 28, 2017.
“These developments seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world. In this regard, we strongly urge the DPRK to immediately comply fully with its obligations under all relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions,” the ASEAN foreign ministers said, reiterating their call for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.
“We reiterate our support for the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, call for the exercise of self-restraint, and underscore the importance of creating conditions conducive for dialogue to de-escalate tensions,” the ASEAN foreign ministers added.
This was the second statement issued on North Korea during the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN. The first one was released on April 28 this year during the 30th ASEAN Summit.
The regional bloc strongly called upon North Korea, as a participant of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), “to positively contribute to realize the ARF Vision to maintain the Asia-Pacific as a region of lasting peace, stability, friendship, and prosperity.”
The foreign ministers are currently in the Philippines for the week-long 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), as well as the 50th anniversary celebration of ASEAN on August 8.###PCO-Content