Asean min­is­ters to dis­cuss North Korea mis­sile tests

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JANVIC MA­TEO

For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Alan Peter Cayetano will meet with his coun­ter­parts from the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) to dis­cuss the con­tin­u­ing mis­sile tests by North Korea.

Cayetano, who is in New York for the United Na­tions Gen­eral As­sem­bly meet­ing next week, said he would con­sult with other ASEAN for­eign min­is­ters on how the

re­gional bloc could help re­duce the ten­sions in the Korean Penin­sula and in the re­gion in gen­eral. “Of course, we are also con­cerned about the safety of the 242,000 Filipinos in Ja­pan who may be im­pacted by these provoca­tive acts,” Cayetano said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

“Our em­bassy in Tokyo and con­sulate gen­eral in Osaka are closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and are reg­u­larly pro­vid­ing up­dates to the Filipino com­mu­nity,” he added.

The test mis­sile North Korea fired on Fri­day sailed over Ja­pan be­fore land­ing in the Pa­cific Ocean.

It was the 13th bal­lis­tic test con­ducted by North Korea this year, and it came on the heels of a United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion which strength­ened sanc­tions against the her­mit na­tion.

Cayetano re­it­er­ated Manila’s call for Py­ongyang to stop provoca­tive acts and head back to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble.

“We again call on the DPRK (Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea) to cease its provoca­tive and highly dan­ger­ous ac­tions that threaten the peace, sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity of the re­gion,” the DFA said.

“DPRK must put a stop to these tests and to start talks in­stead… We like­wise con­tinue to urge the DPRK to abide by the rel­e­vant United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, as the Philip­pines re­mains com­mit­ted to com­ply­ing with the same,” he added.

Cayetano stressed that mis­sile launches not only un­der­mine ef­forts to­wards a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of is­sues in the Korean Penin­sula but also ex­ac­er­bate an al­ready tense sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion.

ASEAN for­eign min­is­ters ear­lier is­sued a state­ment de­plor­ing and ex­press­ing grave con­cern over the nu­clear tests by North Korea.

They also ex­pressed readi­ness “to play a con­struc­tive role in con­tribut­ing to peace and sta­bil­ity in the Korean Penin­sula.”

REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches the launch of a Hwa­song-12 mis­sile in this un­dated photo re­leased by North Korea’s Korean Cen­tral News Agency yes­ter­day.

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