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Southeast Asian foreign ministers expressed grave concern on Saturday about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula stemming from long-range missile tests by North Korea that "seriously threaten" global peace and security.
Axar.az reports citing Reuters that, taking a stronger tone than it has previously on the standoff, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) called for North Korea to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program, and make a positive contribution to regional peace.
The statement was issued separately, rather than included in ASEAN's customary communique at the end of the foreign ministers meeting.
Following the foreign ministers meeting is Monday's annual ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which gathers 27 foreign ministers -- including those of Russia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, China and North Korea -- to discuss Asian security issues.
"We strongly call upon (North Korea) as a participant of the ASEAN Regional Forum, to positively contribute to realize the ARF vision to maintain the Asia-Pacific as a region of lasting peace, stability, friendship and prosperity," said the ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila.
North Korea is determined to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States and officials in Washington say its latest test a week ago showed it may be able to reach most of the country.
China has urged calm and restraint from all countries involved in the standoff.
The ASEAN position is short of the tougher line on North Korea urged by the United States, which wants Southeast Asian countries to downgrade their relations with the already isolated nation.
ASEAN countries have argued that is difficult since its members do not have substantive ties with North Korea.
2017.08.05 / 16:50