Sabre-rat­tling will only lead to unimag­in­able catas­tro­phe, says Na­jib

New Straits Times - - News -

AL­TER­NA­TIVE op­tions, be­sides a show of force, should be con­sid­ered to ad­dress ris­ing ten­sions in the Korean Penin­sula.

“Sabre-rat­tling, or nu­clear rat­tling, is not a good thing to do. It will only lead to a huge and unimag­in­able catas­tro­phe,” Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak said.

Speak­ing to the Malaysian me­dia at the con­clu­sion of the 30th Asean Lead­ers’ Sum­mit here, he said per­haps China could in­flu­ence North Korea to “change its bel­liger­ent po­si­tion”, or at least stop fir­ing bal­lis­tic mis­siles.

North Korea re­cently con­ducted nu­clear tests and fired bal­lis­tic mis­siles in de­fi­ance of crit­i­cisms lev­elled against it.

North Korean leader Kim Jongun, mean­while, has goaded United States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with threats af­ter the US sent navy ships to the Korean Penin­sula.

“We should find ways to re­duce ten­sions,” Na­jib said, adding that Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte was also very con­cerned about de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion.

“He seemed to be labour­ing on it,” Na­jib said. “At one point, he said see you in Novem­ber... if there is a Novem­ber.”

In the chair­man’s state­ment is­sued at the sum­mit’s end, the lead­ers ex­pressed “grave con­cern” over North Korea’s ac­tions, which could affect peace and sta­bil­ity in the en­tire re­gion.

“We urge the DPRK to im­me­di­ately com­ply fully with its obli­ga­tions aris­ing from all rel­e­vant United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions and stressed the im­por­tance of ex­er­cis­ing self-re­straint in the in­ter­est of main­tain­ing peace, se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion and the world.

“We re­it­er­ate our full sup­port for the de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion of the Korean Penin­sula, and for con­cerned par­ties to ex­plore all av­enues for im­me­di­ate di­a­logue.”

On other se­cu­rity is­sues, Na­jib said Asean lead­ers re­it­er­ated their strong con­dem­na­tion of ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism in all forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions.

“Malaysia’s contributions, which include de­rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion pro­grammes and the Dig­i­tal Counter-Mes­sag­ing Cen­tre, can sup­port Asean coun­tries to com­bat the in­flu­ence of mil­i­tants and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism,” he added.

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