North Korea has appealed to Southeast Asian countries for support in its row with the United States to prevent what it warned could be a “nuclear holocaust”. In a letter to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ secretary-general, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho warned the situation on the Korean Peninsula was “reaching the brink of war” because of Washington’s actions. He urged the ASEAN chief to inform the 10-nation organisation’s foreign ministers “about the grave situation” on the peninsula “and give them a proper proposal”, while criticising at length US-South Korean military exercises.

Tensions have soared in the region in recent weeks in the wake of a series of North Korean missile tests and tough rhetoric from Washington on the isolated nation’s rogue weapons program. A copy of the North’s letter, dated March 23, was obtained by AFP on Thursday ahead of an ASEAN leaders’ summit in Manila where they are expected to discuss the situation on the peninsula. READ MORE