ASEAN is willing to contribute towards maintaining peace and security on the Korean peninsula, the Secretary-General of ASEAN said today.

At a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Mr Pak Ui-chun, at the sidelines of the 43rd AMM/PMC/ARF meetings being held in Ha Noi, Dr Surin said, “We want to contribute in a small way. We think we can contribute.” Dr Surin said ASEAN is a friend of the DPRK and as such stands ready to assist in any way possible towards bringing peace and stability to the Korean peninsula.

Dr Surin also encouraged the DPRK to consider appointing its Ambassador to ASEAN following the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter which provides for the accreditation of Ambassadors to ASEAN from non-ASEAN Member States.

Noting that the Foreign Minister would be visiting Indonesia shortly, Dr Surin extended an invitation to FM Pak to also visit the ASEAN Secretariat, which is based in Jakarta.

FM Pak said ASEAN had achieved great success especially in economic development, unity, and regional peace and stability while respecting the principles of non-interference, equality and respect for sovereignty. ASEAN’s position over the last 43 years since its inception has been enhanced and its role has been influential, he added.

The Foreign Minister also informed Dr Surin that the DPRK has been celebrating ASEAN Day, which falls on 8 August, every year, and would continue to do so this year with all the ASEAN Ambassadors in the capital Pyongyang.

FM Pak is in Ha Noi to attend the 17th ASEAN Regional Forum on 23 July. The DPRK joined the ARF in 2000.