Statements by chairs of ASEAN meetings call for N.K. dialogue resumption to spur peace efforts

SEOUL, Chairman’s statements issued after last week’s four regional gatherings, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), called for the resumption of stalled dialogue with North Korea to spur efforts for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, officials said Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha took part in the ARF and three other gatherings — the ASEAN plus three meeting that also involved China and Japan; the South Korea-ASEAN meeting and the East Asia Summit — to enlist support for Seoul’s push to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table and salvage its drive for inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.
“The Ministers stressed the importance of sustained and peaceful dialogue amongst all concerned parties in order to realise complete denuclearisation and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the ARF chairman’s statement reads.
The statement added that the ministers urged “all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working constructively towards the achievement of lasting peace and stability” on the peninsula, including through the “full and expeditious” implementation of a series of 2018 peace agreements between the two Koreas and between the United States and the North.
The statements of the other meetings also included a similar appeal for the restart of talks with the North, while noting Seoul’s efforts to continue inter-Korean cooperation to foster mutual trust.
“The Ministers underscored the significance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and noted the ROK’s proposals to advance inter-Korean relations,” the EAS chairman’s statement reads. ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, Republic of Korea.
In particular, the statement by the chairman of the South Korea-ASEAN meeting touched on Seoul’s specific efforts to strengthen inter-Korean cooperation in healthcare and epidemic prevention and control.
The four statements also underscored their commitment to working together to address the health and economic implications of the new coronavirus, with some highlighting the participants’ commitment to facilitating access to affordable, safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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