News Worms
News Worms


Southeast Asia's top diplomats slam North Korea

Southeast Asia's top diplomats slam North Korea

There was no direct reaction from North Korea to Tillerson's remarks but in a statement after the USA secretary of state made his comments, Pyongyang responded robustly to the new sanctions by saying it was ready to teach the United States a "severe lesson" if it attacked.

Wang said adoption of the framework created a solid foundation for negotiations that could start this year, if "the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and on the premise that there is no major interference from outside parties", according to Reuters.

Foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN member countries and China have adopted a framework for a Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea.

The new UNSC's sanctions include the full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the North Korea.

Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (left) greets Myanmar Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin during the reception for the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, south Manila, Philippines, on August 5.

"By the end of this month during the joint working group meeting on the implementation of code of conduct, all the parties will discuss the thinking, principle and plan for the next stage consultation of the code of conduct and we will build a consensus between China and ASEAN countries with necessary appropriations for that", he said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has defied global pressure to accelerate his country's nuclear weapons capabilities, and boasted after the second intercontinental ballistic missile test that he could strike any target in the United States.

"The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", said Tillerson, adding that "other means of communications" were open to Pyongyang.

Port calls by designated vessels and chartering of North Korea- flagged vessels are prohibited.

That the framework is broad and leaves wide scope for disagreement has critics raising doubts about how effective the COC will be.

Several ASEAN diplomats said that among the members who pushed for a communique that retained the more contentious elements was Vietnam, which has competing claims with China over the Paracel and Spratly archipelago and has had several spats with Beijing over energy concessions.

The framework does not outline as an initial objective the need to make the code legally binding and enforceable, or have a dispute resolution mechanism.

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

Moreover, Ando told reporters that Japan is concerned with the building of large scale outpost within the South China Sea. "I hope that legally binding and effective COC will be finalized", Ando noted.

The communiqué did not mention China, which has been documented to have undertaken large-scale reclamation and improvement works on man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Tillerson said halting missile test launches, which have anxious neighbors South Korea and Japan, was a first step toward dialogue.

ASEAN ties with the United States, under President Donald Trump, have been in flux, as questions linger over Washington's commitment to maritime security and trade in Asia, diminishing the grouping's bargaining power with Beijing.

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