South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Tuesday that North Korea poses a “direct threat” to the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN), referring to the development of ballistic missile programs.

“North Korea’s increasing missile provocations and nuclear threats pose direct and existential risks to ASEAN countries,” he said ahead of his visit to Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, where the summit is being held this week.

In addition, the South Korean leader urged ASEAN member countries to show unity and respond forcefully to “such threats” in order to achieve Pyongyang’s denuclearization.

In this regard, he emphasized the “importance of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” asserting that such a situation is “directly related to global peace and stability.”

Yoon also called for “getting back on track” trilateral cooperation with China and Japan, adding that the three partners should strengthen dialogue.

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