ASEAN foreign ministers express ‘grave concern’ over North Korea situation

ASEAN foreign ministers express ‘grave concern’ over North Korea situation

MANILA: Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a statement on Friday (Apr 28) expressing “grave concern” over the situation in North Korea.

“ASEAN expresses its grave concern over the escalation of tension in the Korean Peninsula, including the DPRK’s two nuclear tests in 2016 and subsequent ballistic missile launches,” the statement read.

“ASEAN is mindful that instability in the Korean Peninsula seriously impacts the region and beyond.”

The foreign ministers are in Manila to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit. 

The regional bloc urged the Pyongyang regime to comply fully with its obligations arising from all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and international laws in the interest of maintaining international peace and security. 

The statement also called on all parties to “exercise self-restraint in order to de-escalate the tension and refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation”.

The foreign ministers reiterated ASEAN's support for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and called for the resumption of dialogue on the Korean Peninsula to "defuse tensions and create conditions conducive to peace and stability."

Speaking to reporters on the statement, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan reiterated the concerns over the issue.

He said: "First, all the ASEAN foreign ministers were very concerned, in fact gravely concerned, with the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The repeated nuclear tests last year, the repeated missile launches this year escalated tensions considerably."

"It may be far away from Singapore, but if there is any miscalculation, if hostilities break out, the human price will be horrendous and there will be an enormous impact across the world, including on Southeast Asia. So we issued a statement expressing grave concern and also urging North Korea to comply fully with its obligations pursuant to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. So that’s one area of key concern," Dr Balakrishnan said.

Source: CNA/rw/mn