Ma Ying-jeou urges North Korea to show restraint

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Tue, Apr 09, 2013 - Page 1

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged North Korea to exercise self-restraint, adding that Taiwan would oppose any action that could damage regional peace.

Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said Ma had ordered National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Jason Yuan (袁健生) to brief him on the steps the government should take in response to the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Taiwan, as a Northeast Asian nation, has been monitoring the situation on the Korean Peninsula and would oppose any action that would threaten peace in the region, Lee quoted Ma as saying.

Ma called for self-restraint from North Korea and said that it should seek to solve the problem through peaceful dialogue rather than through raising tensions in region, Lee said.

Ma made the statement in a meeting with Vice President Wu Duen-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday morning, during which Yuan was asked to give a briefing on the preparations that the government should make in response to North Korea’s military actions.

Yuan said that the government has been keeping in close contact with the governments of the US, Japan and South Korea, adding that the NSC, the ministries of defense and foreign affairs and the National Security Bureau have all established emergency response centers.

Taiwan could be affected by developments on the Korean Peninsula, which could directly impact the region’s safety and economic stability, Ma said.

With Taiwanese living in South Korea, as well as Taiwanese tourists visiting the nation, the Taipei Mission in Korea must also be ready to give updates on the situation, he said.

Ma last week ordered the NSC to hold an interdepartmental meeting on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and said the defense, foreign and economic affairs ministers as well as the heads of other relevant agencies should closely monitor the situation.