MANILA, Aug. 7 — A Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official expressed optimism for positive developments in Asia after DFA Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano and People’s Democratic Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho held bilateral talks Monday.
In a briefing, Foreign Affairs Acting Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said Cayetano had conveyed to Ri the sentiments of officials from other countries regarding DPRK’s numerous ballistic missile tests.
“The highlight of that (meeting) was that Secretary Cayetano expressed ASEAN’s great concern to the North Korean Foreign Minister about the ballistic missile testing that they have conducted over the past few months of 2017,” he told journalists at the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meetings, being held from August 2-8, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Governments around the world have denounced DPRK’s missile tests since these violate several United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Just this week, UNSC issued another sanction against DPRK, targeted against the country’s primary exports like coal, iron, and ore. The latest sanction is projected to cost DPRK one-third of its USD3 billion annual export revenues.
There have been proposals to pressure DPRK to stop its missile tests.
Bolivar said the Philippines has always been supportive of the UNSC Resolutions, “especially on the developments in the Korean peninsula.”
“And we continue to maintain that position,” he said.
Since the Philippines is the host of this year’s ASEAN meetings, Cayetano’s role is to allow all the concerned parties to talk face-to-face, he added.
“That is the value of this dialogue. Around the table, we are able to discuss it first hand and not have statements issued which may eventually be misunderstood,” he said.
“Hopefully the dialogue will foster some sort of increasing confidence for them to perhaps pick a next step in finding a peaceful solution to this issue,” he added.