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ASEAN ministers show concern over Korean tension

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-11 23:16

KUALA LUMPUR - Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members expressed grave concern over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) 's nuclear threat at pre-summit meetings in Brunei Darussalam on Thursday.

Anxiety has grown as several countries issued evacuation warnings to their diplomats in Pyongyang following reports of DPRK being on a standby position to file missiles.

"The ministers, amongst others, expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating security situation in the Korean Peninsula and urged conflicting parties to exercise self-restraint and take immediate measures to restore calm and reduce tension," Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The discussion was tabled at the 10-member ASEAN Ministerial Meetings that raise curtain for the 22nd ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei Darussalam.

According to the statement, the foreign ministers also discussed regional and international issues of common concern, including developments in the South China Sea and the expedition of efforts to accomplish the ASEAN Community by 2015.

ASEAN Community was a goal set about six years ago to turn ASEAN into a competitive, single market.

The ministers also agreed to start discussions on developing a post-2015 vision and take ASEAN's integration to the next step.

On South China Sea, they emphasized the importance of maintaining stability and cooperation to strengthen security and that territorial disputes should be resolved according to international law.

The pre-summit meetings included the foreign ministers' retreat and a political-security council meeting.

ASEAN is chaired by Brunei this year and consists of Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Myanmar.

The 22nd ASEAN Summit is scheduled on April 24-25.

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