The Co-Convenors of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network (APLN) reiterate their grave concern at the DPRK’s continued nuclear testing and particularly the claim that this latest test, the largest to date, was of a thermonuclear device capable of being delivered by missile. The test will only further destabilize an already deeply troubled region of the world. 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.
Despite the serious provocations, the problems of the Korean Peninsula cannot be solved by force. Threats and counter-threats are provoking each side into escalating the rhetoric with threats of further grave consequences. To de-escalate tensions and the risks of an unwanted war that would be devastating, all parties must commit to dialogue.
The time has come for North Korea to engage with its neighbours and the international community in efforts to find a basis for a nuclear free Korean Peninsula. This will only come about by a concerted effort by the countries of the region expressing their joint commitment to a long term and binding solution of all outstanding issues, thereby paving the way to eventual elimination of nuclear threats in North East Asia.
Since the last DPRK test some 12 months ago the APLN has promoted regional dialogue aimed at resolving the stand-off. Meetings in Jeju in May and in Ulanbataar in June this year have focused on the issue. Our reports are available here (http://a-pln.org/meetings/meetings/). While governments must take the lead, APLN will continue to offer its good offices to facilitate dialogue at all levels.
September 4th, 2017
Chung-in MOON, Co-Convenor (Republic of Korea)
Ramesh THAKUR, Co-Convenor (Australia)
About the APLN
The Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (APLN) has more than ninety members from 15 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 energize 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.