Asean calls for self-restraint, dialogue amid tension in Korean peninsula

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by Kristine Angeli Sabillo

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Asean ministers said the “instability in the Korean Peninsula seriously impacts the region and beyond.”

The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) spoke out on Friday against North Korea’s reported nuclear tests and missile launches.

“The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) expresses its grave concern over the escalation of tension in the Korean Peninsula, including the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s) two nuclear tests in 2016 and subsequent ballistic missile launches,” they said in a joint statement.

The Asean ministers said the “instability in the Korean Peninsula seriously impacts the region and beyond.”

“Asean strongly urges the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations arising from all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions and international laws in the interest of maintaining international peace and security,” the group said.

It called on North Korea and other concerned parties “to exercise self-restraint” to “de-escalate the tension.”

“Asean supports the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and in this regard, calls for the resumption of dialogue on the Korean Peninsula to defuse tensions and create conditions conducive to peace and stability,” the ministers said.

Reports said North Korea has been carrying out nuclear tests and missile launches. One missile was launched into the Sea of Japan. Such actions have been called “reckless” by the international community. Some fear that such incidents will push the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war.

Recently, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China has asked North Korea to stop nuclear tests. It supposedly threatened the DPRK of sanctions.