World

Southeast Asia issues strong rebuke, warning to North Korea

Southeast Asia's top diplomats have slammed North Korea with a sharp rebuke over its intercontinental ballistic missile tests and reminded Pyongyang of its duty to avoid conflicts as a member of Asia's biggest security forum.

The 10 foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations reiterated in a joint statement Saturday their grave concerns over the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to the North's two ICBM tests last month, saying the launches threaten world stability.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said earlier that the ASEAN ministers were divided over a U.S. proposal to remove North Korea from the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-member grouping that includes the North, along with its most bitter adversaries — South Korea, the United States and Japan.