North Korea Attacked in ASEAN Statement

North Korea has been singled out in the chairman’s statement from the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Brunei. The statement urges the North to adhere to the September 19th, 2005 Six-Party Talks agreement and UN Security Council resolutions against it. However, North Korea’s own perspective on regional circumstances was not recorded.

The statement, which is a reflection of opinions put forward by ministers during the forum, noted that “most of the ministers” wished to see North Korea adhere to its international obligations.

The statement explained that ministers expressed their support for efforts to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and declared a mutual willingness to implement UN Security Council resolutions. In addition, it registered the need for peaceful dialogue for the creation of an environment of trust, and humanitarian efforts for the North Korean people.

Conversely, North Korea’s own claim, that its nuclear developments are the outcome of the U.S.’ hostile policy, was not reflected in the statement, pointing to the fact that even those ASEAN countries who have traditionally taken a friendly approach to North Korea have shifted stance. One diplomatic official attending the meeting described the situation as “26 against 1.”

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