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Philippines ‘relieved’ with Korean leaders’ move to end war

April 29, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang welcomed the announcement of the end of the Korean War following the meet-up at the demilitarized zone between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un on Friday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Philippines felt “relieved” by the development “because we were all looking at the prospects of a nuclear encounter in our backyard.”

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) issued a statement expressing support for the initiatives of the Korean leaders.

“I think it’s almost sure that [the ASEAN leaders] will express relief over this development and will congratulate the Koreans for the effort to talk peace amongst themselves,” Roque said.

At last year’s ASEAN summit held in Manila, President Duterte urged the world’s leaders including US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to work for easing tensions in the region after North Korea’s test firing of missiles.

On Friday, the two Koreas announced they would work with the US and China toward achieving “permanent” and “solid” peace.

The declaration included promises to pursue phased arms reduction, cease hostile acts, transform their fortified borders into a peace zone and seek multilateral talks with other countries.

“The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun,” the two sides said.

In Singapore, ASEAN leaders lauded Moon and Kim for agreeing to work for lasting peace, including pursuing denuclearization.

In the chairman’s statement issued after the leaders’ summit, ASEAN heads of state also cited Kim’s recent visit to China, the announcement of plans for a meeting between the North Korean leader and Trump.

“We also noted North Korea’s reported commitment to denuclearization and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests during this period,” read the statement.

“We reiterate our support for international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and express hope for a peaceful and amicable resolution to the issue,” it added.

On Friday, ASEAN foreign ministers including Alan Peter Cayetano also issued a statement welcoming developments in the Korean Peninsula.

“The ministers are encouraged by these positive developments and urge all concerned parties to work towards reducing tensions and the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula which will contribute to the peace and stability of the region,” it added.

Senate committee on foreign relations chair Loren Legarda called Kim’s and Moon’s gesture a “huge step” toward ending decades of hostility and ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Legarda urged the government to “continue extending its support and hand of assistance in whatever way, in order to help the Korean Peninsula and the region at large achieve lasting peace and stability.”

“We have always believed in promoting peace through dialogue and cooperation. This is what the ASEAN Regional Forum strives to achieve, of which North Korea is a participant,” she said.

“This Summit actualized dialogue at the highest level, thus giving everyone hope for a resolution to one of the potentially most perilous sources of tension in the world today,” she added.

Source: Philstar