By Takeyuki Hitokoto / Yomiuri Shimbun CorrespondentMANILA — The East Asia Summit meeting was scheduled to issue a chairman’s statement on Tuesday that condemns North Korea, a nation that continues to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, according to a draft obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The summit was attended by the leaders and representatives of 18 nations, including Japan, the United States, China, Russia and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The draft adopted a harsher tone toward Pyongyang compared to the previous statement in 2016, which expressed “serious concern” over the North Korea issue.
The issue of North Korea’s abduction of foreign nationals, including Japanese, was also expected to be included in the statement.
According to the draft, the statement condemned North Korea, which continues to develop weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear and chemical weapons as well as ballistic missiles.
It then required the country to comply immediately and fully with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
In addition, the statement moved on to demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
According to the draft, the statement stipulated that countries participating in the East Asia Summit meetin will swear to fully implement UNSC resolutions, including the one that stepped up economic sanctions against North Korea.
The statement underscored the importance of humanitarian concerns, including the abduction issue.
The Japanese government has asked countries participating in the East Asia Summit to cooperate in finding a solution to the abduction issue.
Regarding the issue of the South China Sea, where China is unilaterally building military strongholds, the draft statement contained a title but its contents were left blank.
How to deal with the South China Sea issue was also a point of contention at the ASEAN summit meeting held Monday.