FOREIGN Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) strongly urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to comply immediately and fully with its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
In a statement released several hours after the formal opening of the 50th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Manila on Saturday, foreign ministers reiterated their grave concerns over the escalation of tension in the Korean peninsula caused in part by the recent missile tests of the DPRK.
Top diplomats from the 10-member bloc particularly cited the recent testing by the DPRK of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and ballistic missile launches and two nuclear tests in 2016.
“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 UN Security Council Resolutions,” the foreign ministers said in a statement issued ahead of the arrival of Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho of North Korea.
They also expressed support for the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.
At the same time, the regional bloc said it was ready to play a constructive role in contributing peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
As a participant of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), the foreign ministers also called on Pyongyang to positively contribute in realizing the forum’s vision of maintaining the Asia-Pacific as a region of “lasting peace, stability, friendship and prosperity”.
As chairman of the Asean, the Philippines will be hosting the 24th ARF meeting on Monday to be participated in by the 27-member nations, including Japan, South Korea and the United States.
ARF is an important forum in providing a setting in which members can discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.
Below is the full statement: