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ASEAN protests nuke tests, urges North Korea back to talks

Quezon City (12 October) -- FOUR days after North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) protested the weapons test, which it said threatened peace and stability in East Asia, and called on the Stalinist state to return to six-party talks.

“We protest such testing, and strongly enjoin the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) to desist from conducting further tests,” the Philippines, as ASEAN chair, said in a statement.

ASEAN also “appeal(ed) to all parties concerned to exercise restraint, and to refrain from taking action that will aggravate the tension.”

The 10-member regional bloc called on North Korea to continue the dialogue with all concerned parties for the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

“We call on the DPRK to abide by the provisions of UNSC (United Nations Security Council) Resolution 1695, particularly on its return to the Six-Party Talks, to work towards the expeditious implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement, and to return at an early date to the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” the statement read.

ASEAN also reminded North Korea of its commitments to maintain peace in the region.

“We are deeply concerned by North Korea’s announcement that they have conducted a nuclear test. Such a test is inconsistent with the DPRK’s (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) commitments under the Joint Statement of September 2005, and threatens the peace and security of East Asia,” the statement said.

“At our meeting in Kuala Lumpur in July, the foreign ministers of ASEAN emphasized that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is essential in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” it added. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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