The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has today expressed its “deep concern” about North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic trials, despite Pyongyang’s demand to support it in its controversy with the United States. North Korean Foreign Minister Ry Yong-cho sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Union of Ten Southeast Asian Nations asking for their support for his country’s confrontation with Washington in order to avoid, as said himself, “a nuclear holocaust”.
But the ASEA Foreign Ministers today released a report criticizing North Korea for the nuclear tests it conducted last year and the launch of ballistic missiles. “ASEAN expresses its deep concern at the escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula,” said the agency, which includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam.
“ASEAN knows that instability on the Korean peninsula will have a significant impact on the region and beyond,” they point out at the end of their meeting. EU ministers urge North Korea to “fully respect” UN Security Council resolutions, under which it is forbidden to continue its nuclear and ballistic program. The document also calls for the resumption of negotiations on the issue.
At the same time, ASEAN asks “all parties involved” to “stop all provocative actions and show restraint in order to de-escalate tension, but also to refrain from actions that could aggravate the situation.” In addition to North Korea, with the term “involved sides”, ASEAN refers to the US and regional powers: China, Japan and South Korea.