The Korea Herald


ARF ministers welcome DMZ Trump-Kim meeting, look forward to resumption of nuke talks

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 4, 2019 - 09:50

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The foreign ministers who participated in a regional forum in Thailand this week welcomed the impromptu summit between Washington and Pyongyang in June and looked forward to the resumption of their nuclear talks, its chair's statement showed.

The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) took place in Bangkok on Friday and brought together top diplomats from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 17 other countries.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

"The ministers welcomed the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un on 30 June 2019 at the Demilitarized Zone on the Korean Peninsula and looked forward to resumption of negotiations," the statement dated Saturday reads.

The ministers also urged Pyongyang to deliver on its stated commitment to complete denuclearization and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests.

On Friday, Pyongyang fired off two short-range projectiles in the third such launch in about a week, raising concerns that its saber-rattling could undermine ongoing efforts to reduce military tensions and entrench lasting peace on the peninsula.

"The ministers urged all parties concerned to continue or to resume peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula," the statement said.

At the ARF talks this year, the North did not send its Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho for unspecified reasons. Instead, its Ambassador to Thailand Kim Je-bong attended the annual meeting.

In another statement by the chairman of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) foreign ministers' meeting, the participants voiced their concerns about trade protectionism and renewed their commitment to the global open trading system. The APT meeting involves representatives from ASEAN member states, South Korea, China and Japan.

At the APT session, Seoul criticized Tokyo for its recent series of export curbs that it says would undermine principles of free trade, a key driver of shared prosperity in East Asia.

"The ministers cautioned against rising trade tensions and its impact on growth," the statement reads.

"They reaffirmed their strong commitment to upholding an open, inclusive, transparent, and rules-based multilateral trading system anchored by the World Trade Organization," it added.

The ministers also underscored the importance of multilateralism and regionalism in contributing to global and regional peace, stability and prosperity, the statement said. (Yonhap)