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North Korea's ICBM launch leaves Asean envoys uneasy
By Recto Mercene
Top diplomats of Asean have expressed grave concern over the recent developments in the Korean Peninsula.
“We continue to express grave concerns over the developments in the Korean Peninsula, including the most recent testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [DPRK] of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, on top of its previous nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.” the foreign ministers said in a draft joint communique.
“Noting that these developments threaten peace and stability in the entire region, we urged the DPRK to fully and immediately comply with its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.”
The foreign ministers are in Manila for the 50th Asean Ministerial Meeting that will be conducted from August 2 to 8 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
Foreign ministers and senior officials from 27 countries are expected to attend the event. They are expected to issue several document during the meetings.
The group, likewise, reiterated their support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, “and, in this regard, called for the resumption of dialogue on the Korean Peninsula to defuse tensions and create conditions conducive to peace and stability.”
The Asean parliamentarians and lawmakers are expected to stress the importance of the Asean work plan against illicit drugs and the declaration of a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea.
During the week from August 2 to 8, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will lead the 50th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, the 18th Asean Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (with Japan, China and Korea), the 7th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the 24th Asean Regional Forum (ARF).