Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) Co-Convenors deplore North Korea's latest nuclear weapon test and register their deep concern at the further destabilising effects the test will have in Northeast Asia and beyond. The North Korean claims that the test was of a miniaturized device capable of being mounted on a missile only adds to those concerns.
We call again on North Korea to stop its testing program and refrain from other provocations such as missile launches in defiance of international opinion. The time has come for North Korea to engage in its neighbours and the international community in efforts to find a basis for a nuclear free Korean Peninsula. We invite North Korea to join efforts to reduce nuclear risks, minimize the numbers and role of nuclear weapons and eventually abolish them entirely.
We reiterate that political tensions and grievances can be addressed only by political means, not by aggravating existing tensions and escalating an arms race. Diplomacy, not aggression masquerading as "self-defence", is the way for North Korea to establish its place as a responsible participant in regional and world affairs. We again urge all countries in a position to do so to use their influence with North Korea to lower tensions and cease acts of provocation.
Chung-in Moon, Seoul Ramesh Thakur, Canberra
The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN) (www.a-pln.org) has more than sixty members from 14 countries across Asia and the Pacific, consisting of former political, official and military leaders in senior executive positions as well as opinion leaders and shapers from other sectors of society. As an advocacy group, the APLN aims to inform and energise public opinion, especially high-level policymakers, to take seriously the very real threats posed by nuclear weapons, and to do everything possible to achieve a world in which they are contained, diminished and eventually eliminated.