Posted June. 03, 2009 07:37,
President Lee Myung-bak and the leaders of 10 Southeast Asian countries yesterday jointly condemned North Koreas series of nuclear and missile tests.
In a joint press statement concluding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-(South) Korea Commemorative Summit on Jeju Island, they said, The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner is essential in maintaining peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
They also expressed full support for the resumption of the six-party talks.
The leaders expressed their desire that the ASEAN Regional Forum can contribute towards an enduring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. They encouraged all concerned parties to actively pursue this objective, the statement said.
This is the first time that the 10 Southeast Asian countries have raised a unanimous voice on North Korea.
They also adopted a joint statement of 40 articles in five categories at the end of the Special Korea-ASEAN Summit to mark the 20th anniversary of their dialogue relations.
The statement said, ASEAN appreciated the Republic of (South) Koreas efforts to strengthen its relations with ASEAN member states by implementing its New Asia Initiative.
Korea also expressed its support for the associations plan to establish an ASEAN Community of a joint political and security community, joint economic community, and joint social and cultural community by 2015.
We are committed to continue our efforts to reduce tension and promote dialogue on the (Korean) peninsula, including those to achieve an early resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue in a peaceful manner through the six-party talks process, the statement said.
The leaders also agreed to raise bilateral trade volume to 150 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 through a free trade agreement and a reciprocal complimentary trade structure.
Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon and his counterparts from the 10 countries signed a Korea-ASEAN Investment Treaty in the presence of their leaders.
We recognized the need to establish a cooperative system between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea that covers all modes of transportation, including logistics. To this end, we looked forward to the expeditious conclusion of the ASEAN-ROK Memorandum of Understanding on Transport Cooperation by the end of 2009, the statement said.
Moreover, the proposed ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve will seek to ensure food security in the region.