The 11th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting in the Philippines on October 23 (Photo: ​Xinhua/VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Defence Ministers of the 10 ASEAN member nations on October 23 expressed their concern over the missiles and nuclear weapon programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

In a joint statement of the 11th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) held in the Philippines, the ministers reiterated the significance of the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region.

They also called on Pyongyang to exercise self-restraint, observe international obligations and resume dialogue in order to ease increasing tension in the Korean Peninsula.

The ministers are scheduled to meet with their counterparts from the US, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, Russia and New Zealand on October 24.

Issues involving the DPRK, the East Sea and terrorism will be high on the agenda.

US Secretary of Defence James Mattis affirmed that he will discuss the DPRK issue with Asian partners.

The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN. It aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges, as well as enhancement of transparency and openness among the 10 ASEAN member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN defence ministers to engage their dialogue partners from Asia and the Pacific.-VNA