MANILA – North Korea has appealed to Southeast Asian countries for support in its row with the United States to prevent what it warned could be a “nuclear holocaust”, according to a letter obtained by AFP.
In the letter to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ secretary general, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho warned the situation on the Korean Peninsula was “reaching the brink of war” because of Washington’s actions.
He urged the ASEAN chief to inform the 10-nation organization’s foreign ministers “about the grave situation” on the peninsula “and give them a proper proposal”, while criticizing at length US-South Korean military exercises.
Tensions have soared in the region in recent weeks in the wake of a series of North Korean missile tests and tough rhetoric from Washington on the isolated nation’s rogue weapons program.
The North’s letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP and dated March 23, ahead of the regional bloc’s summit this week in Manila, where delegates are expected to discuss the situation on the peninsula.
“I express my expectations that ASEAN which attaches great importance to the regional peace and stability will make an issue of the US-South Korean joint military exercises at ASEAN conferences from the fair position and play an active role in safeguarding the peace and safety of Korean Peninsula,” the letter said.
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