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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taipei urges Pyongyang to exercise self-restraint

ROC Central News Agency

2013/04/08 19:42:24

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has urged North Korea to exercise self-restraint and refrain from taking any action that could jeopardize regional peace and stability, the Presidential Office said Monday.

Ma made the call after listening to a briefing by National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Jason Yuan on the country's contingency plans that have been put in place amid rising tension on the Korean peninsula caused by Pyongyang's saber-rattling, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said.

Vice President Wu Den-yih and Premier Jiang Yi-huah were also present during Yuan's briefing, Li noted.

As a Northeast Asian country, Taiwan is concerned about the Korean peninsula situation, Ma was quoted as having said at the meeting.

'We oppose any move that could disrupt regional peace and stability,' the president said.

Due to geographic proximity, Taiwan would be unlikely to remain intact if war or a nuclear attack were to occur on the Korean peninsula, Ma said, adding that all relevant government agencies should heighten their vigilance and prepare for whatever developments might occur there.

Amid a recent escalation of Pyongyang's increasingly bellicose rhetoric against the United States and its allies in the region, notably South Korea and Japan, Ma had already directed Yuan to call a ministerial-level meeting April 5 to review contingency plans drafted by the various ministries.

Yuan said at Monday's meeting that the NSC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defense and the National Security Bureau have all set up emergency response centers to deal with whatever scenarios might evolve on the Korean peninsula.

He also said Taiwan's representative office in Seoul has been keeping close tabs on the security of Taiwanese expatriates in South Korea.

According to foreign wire service reports, North Korea is preparing either a missile launch or another nuclear test in the coming few days.

(By Lee Shu-hua and Sofia Wu)

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