North Korea Must Abandon Missile Launch

Members of the international community must work together in persuading North Korea to abandon its planned missile launch this mid-April because of the risks it poses to the Asian region, President Benigno S. Aquino III told fellow leaders during the Retreat Session of the 20th Asean Summit here.

President Aquino said North Korea’s planned rocket launch violates United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, and presents risks to countries in its flight path, including the Philippines.

“It increases tensions, particularly in the period of uncertainty leading up to the launch-where no one is sure of the trajectory of the missile. In particular, debris from the launch may potentially land in our territory. This is a needless provocation not only in the Korean peninsula, but in our entire region,” President Aquino told his Asean counterparts.

The situation in the Korean Peninsula has far-reaching implications on regional stability, and it may affect the developments of Asia-Pacific countries.

“Stability, peace and prosperity in our region require all of us to continue to engage with each other, and the larger international community in ways that build confidence,” he said.

“The way forward is for the North Korea to abandon the launch and return to actions that promote confidence-building among its neighbors. We hope for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to eventually undertake complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization,” the President added.

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