Defense chiefs in Asia-Pacific call for nuclear-free Korean peninsula
North Korea's missile and nuclear threats were one of the key agenda items at the two-day ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus in Brunei.
Recognizing the security threats Pyongyang poses the region, defense ministers from South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and 14 other nations in the Asia-Pacific region issued a joint declaration that called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The declaration also indirectly urged North Korea to fully comply with UN restrictions but the words "North Korea" were not stated.
Military chiefs of several nations, including South Korea, the U.S. and Russia, expressed grave concerns over North Korea's nuclear threats through their key note speech.
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin reiterated the security risks Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs pose to the world. and urged ASEAN member nations to join hands in urging the North to abide by its international obligations.
"There was international consensus on the need to denuclearize North Korea and China has also agreed."
South Korea and China, meanwhile, agreed to further expand military cooperation.
On the sidelines of the meeting, minister Kim and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan reconfirmed the importance of bilateral military exchanges, which include establishing a military hotline between the two ministers.
Vowing to participate in various military events in their respective countries, Chang also agreed to visit Seoul next year.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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