Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) release a joint statement calling for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, at the ASEAN 2017 meeting in the Philippines on Aug. 5. Pictured are Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh (right) and then the foreign ministers from ASEAN’s 10 member states. (ASEAN 2017 official website)

By Hur SomEe and Lee Hana

Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) released a joint statement expressing their grave concern over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile provocations, at the ASEAN 2017 meeting in Manila on Aug. 5.

The foreign ministers, representing Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Brunei, stated that Pyongyang’s continued provocations “seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world.”

The member states reiterated their concern over the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, including the most recent testing by North Korea of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), previous missile launches, and two nuclear tests in 2016. In this regard, they “strongly urged North Korea to immediately comply fully with its obligations under all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.” Moreover, they stated that, “ASEAN stands ready to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”

Finally, the member states called upon North Korea, a participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), to make a contribution to realizing the ARF’s vision of maintaining the Asia-Pacific as a region of “lasting peace, stability, friendship and prosperity.”