July 14, 2023
JAKARTA – Asean on Thursday expressed its concern over a recent ballistic missile launch by North Korea and has asked Pyongyang to de-escalate tensions.
“We expressed grave concern over the recent launch of the ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on July 12, 2023,” said the region’s foreign ministers in a statement, referring to North Korea by its official name.
The officials are in Jakarta for the 56th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings, and on Thursday had meetings with their counterparts from partner nations including China, South Korea and Japan.
“We were deeply dismayed by this action, particularly during the 56th Asean ministerial meetings/post-ministerial conference meetings and other Asean-led meetings, and reaffirmed our commitment to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the region, to which the DPRK is also committed, including as a member of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF),” said the ministers.
The forum, slated to take place on Friday, will see Asean members attend a discussion with more than 15 of its partners, including North Korea.
The launch of the missile on Wednesday came after North Korea accused spy planes from the United States of violating airspace in its exclusive economic zone, condemned a recent visit to South Korea by an American nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, and pledged to take steps in retaliation.
Japan has said the suspected intercontinental ballistic missile flew for 74 minutes to an altitude of 6,000km and covered a range of 1,000km, in what reportedly was the longest flight time for a North Korean missile.
The Asean ministers reiterated the importance of full compliance with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and abiding by international law.
They also underscored their readiness to play a constructive role, including through the utilisation of Asean-led platforms such as the ARF.
“We urged the DPRK to take action to de-escalate tension and called for peaceful dialogue among concerned parties, including to create a conducive environment towards the realisation of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean peninsula,” the Asean ministers said.