ASEAN's top diplomats voice 'grave' concerns about NK nuke, missile programs

By a2016032
  • Published : Apr 28, 2017 - 17:32
  • Updated : Apr 28, 2017 - 17:32

The top diplomats from Southeast Asian countries on Friday expressed "grave" concerns over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, strongly urging Pyongyang to comply with relevant U.N. resolutions, a statement showed.

Foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations issued the statement ahead of the ASEAN leaders' annual summit in Manila slated for Saturday.


"ASEAN is mindful that instability in the Korean Peninsula seriously impacts the region and beyond," it showed.

They also strongly called on North Korea to fully comply with its obligations under United Nations Security Council  resolutions and international laws for peace and security.

Tensions have flared up on the Korean Peninsula amid concerns about the United States' possible military action against Pyongyang to counter the North's nuclear and missile threats.

North Korea has vowed to respond to what it called Washington's war aggression with pre-emptive nuclear attacks.

The ASEAN foreign ministers also urged North Korea and all parties concerned to "exercise self-restraint" in terms of any action that may aggravate the situation on the divided peninsula, the statement read.

ASEAN "calls for the resumption of dialogue on the Korean Peninsula to defuse tension and create conditions conducive to peace and stability," it added.

The statement is seen as spurning North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho's latest move to solicit help from ASEAN.

Ri sent a letter to the secretary general of ASEAN to enlist support in early April, claiming that joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington raised tensions.

Trump aims to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear and missile programs through economic sanctions and diplomatic measures while remaining open to negotiations, according to a joint statement by top US officials on Wednesday. (Yonhap)