News Worms
News Worms

South China Sea | ASEAN wants talks on non-aggression pact with Beijing soon

In their statement, the ASEAN ministers did not address the possible U.S. proposal for excluding North Korea from the ARF but called on Pyongyang to "positively contribute" to realising the forum's vision of maintaining Asia and the Pacific "as a region of lasting peace, stability, friendship and prosperity".

Tillerson met with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on the final day of the Summit, with the pair telling media the outcome was 'good.' China appears to be less convinced, with editorials in state-overseen newspapers ranging acknowledging the need to end nuclear testing but also calling for South Korea and the USA to accept blame for the current situation.

Noting that sanctions were necessary but not the ultimate goal, the Minister said the measure aimed to bring parties concerned back to the negotiating table.

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

United States officials have insisted that while Tillerson and Ri will be in the same room during the Manila forum, there would be no direct meeting between the two envoys.

Wang said the first initiative was to formulate a China-ASEAN strategic partnership vision 2030 to draw a blueprint for the next stage of their bilateral relations.

"We'll know it when we see it", Tillerson said.

"We want to make sure China is continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime", she said. The South Korean envoy held a rare but brief meeting in Manila with North Korea's top diplomat, who also spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had discussed the sanctions with Tillerson a day before. They smiled amiably and made small talk but ignored a reporter's question about how the fresh US sanctions against Russian Federation that President Donald Trump signed last week would affect their talks.

The gathering comes after the United Nations Security Council adopted a fresh sanctions resolution against the North for its two intercontinental ballistic missile launches last month. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha went further, calling it "a very, very good outcome".

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson arrives for a courtesy call on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacanang Palace in Manila, Philippines, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017.

'I don't think that matters much, ' he added.

Fifteen years ago ASEAN foreign ministers signed an even more strongly worded document committing the countries to begin negotiations with Beijing over China's claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, through which passes one third of global shipping, including much of Australia's.

The conference also discussed orientations for their cooperation in the time ahead, compared viewpoints on regional and global issues, and looked into preparations for the 20th ASEAN + 3 Summit in November.

"When most companies and investors think of Asean, they typically think of mega-cities such as Jakarta, Manila, and Bangkok".


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