The United States continues to call for Asean to strictly enforce sanctions against North Korea despite a reduction in tensions, according to a source at the Asean-US ministerial meeting on Friday.
“Asean also supports every channel of dialogue between the US and DPRK,” the Southeast Asian source added.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated in his opening remarks to the meeting that the US wanted Asean’s support against Pyongyang.
The call to continually suppress North Korea is ongoing although Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un shook hands in Singapore in June.
The sanctions continued while the joint statement penned by Trump and Kim, promising denuclearisation of the peninsula, is criticised for being historic yet insufficiently progressive.
Asean has always abided by international consensus, particularly the United Nations Security Council resolutions, to address the North Korean issue.
Some of the Asean countries, including Thailand, still maintaining diplomatic relations with North Korea while also facing pressure from the US to cut bilateral ties.
Meanwhile, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was in Singapore for the Asean Regional Forum on Saturday.
On Friday, Ri is also due to hold bilateral discussions with various countries, including Thailand.
The joint communique, finalised on Thursday shortly after the Asean foreign ministers’ meeting, welcomes more friendly gestures between the US-North Korea while also urging all parties “to continue working towards the realisation of lasting peace and stability on a denuclearised Korean peninsula.”