JAKARTA, April 12 (Bernama) -- Asean Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan, on
Thursday urged North Korea to heed the concerns of the international community
about the planned satellite launch.
"As a member of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), North Korea must pay
attention to the concerns of other members that are destabilised by such a
move," he said in statement released by the Asean Secretariat.
In echoing calls made by international leaders to North Korea to exercise
restraint, Surin said: "Utmost efforts must be made to avoid any provocation and
possible escalation of conflict. We therefore hope that restraint will prevail."
Last month''s announcement by North Korea of its intention to launch its
satellite into space has raised grave concerns among neighbouring countries in
the Asia-Pacific region. Some countries see the satellite launch as a cover-up
for nuclear testing.
South Korea and Japan have been urging North Korea to cancel the imminent
launch, while China has expressed concern and urged all parties to be calm and
Thursday is 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.
AFY AFY MO