February 25, 2024

ASEAN statement on North Korea highlights bloc’s passive approach: Experts

Group expresses readiness for ‘constructive role’ in talks, but North Korea ranks low among region’s security concerns

Southeast Asian leaders reiterated their willingness to play a “constructive role” in resolving a long-running diplomatic impasse over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, but experts say the bloc’s passive approach reflects North Korea’s decreasing relevance in the region.

“The recent surge in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s intercontinental ballistic missile testing and ballistic missile launches and the increased tension in the Korean Peninsula are a worrisome development that threatens peace and stability in the region,” the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders said in a joint statement Wednesday following their annual summit.