ASEAN Foreign Ministers Express 'Grave Concern' over N. Korea

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Express 'Grave Concern' over N. Korea

ASEAN Foreign Ministers Express 'Grave Concern' over N. Korea

While China agrees with sanctions on the North, Wang, the Chinese Foreign Minister, said Sunday that they should be aimed at forcing Pyongyang to return to negotiations directed at taming its nuclear ambitions.

Vietnam has emerged as China's sternest critic in ASEAN on the South China Sea and has pressed for strong wording in collective statements.

Wang Yi also said the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and China and ASEAN counties have confidence working together in a comprehensive strategic partnership.

"The leaders committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the worldwide community to do so as well", the White House said.

The code will not serve as a tool to settle territorial disputes, according to the framework.

Under the DOC, dispute resolution will be through "friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned", a position that China stressed in late July by telling ASEAN countries to keep regional outsiders from interfering in disputes. Representing the United States at the dinner was Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Instead, ASEAN and China adopted a fairly weak negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea - several steps removed from anything that could force China to abandon its territorial claims or give up the seven islands it built in disputed waters, three of which have runways and military hardware.

North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood are banned.

"South Korean presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said that Moon told Trump it's important to show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that doors for dialogue are open if it takes the right path of giving up its nuclear programs".

Although it's not an ASEAN member, China can exert its influence on allies like ASEAN member Cambodia to reject any move it deems inimical to its interests.

The deployment and use of chemical weapons are banned.

"We also support the positive proposals put forward by the new (South Korean) government".

Aside from the Philippines, ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and and Vietnam have claims over parts of the South China Sea.

Efforts to finalise the code have dragged on for years without any sign that such an accord will ever be achieved.

Washington has asked countries, including the ASEAN member states, to help isolate North Korea diplomatically to force it to stop provocative acts.

Speaking to The Straits Times, Asean Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said: "A framework is a framework".

He added: "It must be able not only to prevent but also to manage incidents of the kind that have taken place so far. I hope that legally binding and effective COC will be finalized", Ando noted.

A few months before that ruling, 12 nations in the Pacific region concluded more than seven years of negotiations by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade agreement that bound much of Southeast Asia together with the United States and Japan in an economic partnership meant to fight China's growing economic hegemony in the region.

Said Mr Wang, whose country insists that its activities in the South China Sea are for defence purposes: "We should not prejudge its final outcome".

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