Asean ministers to discuss North Korea missile tests
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.”
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.