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. We reaffirmed the importance of dialogue among all parties for the peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

            We are therefore deeply concerned by North Korea’s announcement that they have conducted a nuclear test. Such a test is inconsistent with the DPRK’s commitments under the Joint Statement of September 2005, and threatens the peace and security of East Asia.

We protest such testing, and strongly urge the DPRK to desist from conducting further tests, and appeal to all parties concerned to exercise restraint, and to refrain from taking action that will aggravate the tension. We call on the DPRK to abide by the provisions of UNSC 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.