7 August 2017 | Manila, Philippines
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano met today with Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to personally convey the ASEAN position on the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
Secretary Cayetano, who is Chair of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, presented the ASEAN statement to Foreign Minister Ri shortly before the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center past noon today.
Secretary Cayetano’s meeting with Foreign Minister Ri came a few days after ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement calling on the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and international laws and for all concerned parties to exercise self-restraint so as not to further aggravate the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
“The statement was not borne out of lost friendship but is because of frustration that there seems to be no opening for discussions or dialogue to address the impasse on the issues in the Korean Peninsula,” Secretary Cayetano told Foreign Minister Ri.
“I have been tasked by my ASEAN colleagues to convey this to you personally and likewise affirm ASEAN’s commitment to engaging your country within the ASEAN Regional Forum, given the importance of this platform for our continued discussions,” Secretary Cayetano said.
“However, there is a sentiment across ASEAN that for this engagement to be truly productive and beneficial not just to ASEAN but to our region and the world, we need to ensure that there is a mutual openness and communication amongst us,” Secretary Cayetano said.
“We say this in the spirit of our common goal of maintaining peace and security for our peoples,” he told Foreign Minister Ri.
The DPRK foreign minister thanked Secretary Cayetano for conveying the sentiments of his fellow ASEAN ministers. He said he understood the ASEAN position and assured the Secretary that the message would reach Pyongyang.