ASEAN calls for DPRK to exercise restraint

The launch of the 'Unha-2' rocket in 2009.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan on Thursday encouraged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to heed the concerns of international community about the planned satellite launch.

“As a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), North Korea ( DPRK) must pay attention to the concerns of other members that are de-stabilized by such a move,” stated Pitsuwan.

Last month’s announcement by the DPRK of its intentions to launch its satellite into space has raised grave concerns from neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific.

Some countries see the satellite launch as a cover up for nuclear testing.

South Korea and Japan have been urging the DPRK to cancel the imminent launch.

Thursday, April 12 was the start of the five-day launch window for Pyongyang to send its satellite into orbit.

The Philippines and South Korea have already ordered a re- routing of their commercial planes to stay clear of the satellite’ s proposed path during the next few days.

In echoing calls made by international leaders to the DPRK to exercise restraint, Pitsuwan said that utmost efforts must be made to avoid any provocation and possible escalation of conflict.

“We therefore hope that restraint will prevail,” he said.

Xinhua