By Genalyn Kabiling
BANGKOK – The Southeast Asian regional bloc has called for the resumption of the peaceful dialogue among concerned parties towards attaining a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), composed of 10 member-states, has pushed for the “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while supporting dialogue among parties concerned during the summit in Bangkok over the weekend.
“We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realize lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and welcomed the initiatives and efforts by ROK, the United States, and China to promote dialogue with the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK),” Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, this year’s ASEAN chairman, said in a statement at the end of the regional summit last Sunday.
“We urged all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working towards the realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula,” he said.
The regional group likewise pushed for the “full and expeditious” implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration and the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK leaders. The documents include the commitments of the concerned parties towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
“We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the ASEAN chair said.
“We also underscored the importance of ASEAN-led platforms such as the ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum) in promoting a conducive atmosphere to peaceful dialogue amongst the parties concerned,” the Thai PM added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently paid a visit to Pyongyang and met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Xi reportedly offered to play a role in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula amid the impasse in talks between the United States and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons.
Nuclear negotiations between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim collapsed in Vietnam last February over differences in their demands. Washington wanted Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapon program before the lifting of international sanctions. North Korean, however, asked Washington to relax sanctions amid its offer for a step-by-step approach towards denuclearization.