Beijing sets terms for talks on sea feud code

by Susie Olson August 9, 2017, 0:17
Beijing sets terms for talks on sea feud code

The ASEAN foreign ministers, however, failed to identify in their Joint Communique issued Sunday night following their 50th meeting hosted by Manila, the particular country undertaking such reclamation activities in the disputed areas and those member states who have expressed their concerns.

North Korea briefed diplomats of Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia in Pyongyang on Tuesday about the "resounding success" of its latest ICBM test, its foreign ministry said on its website.

"These developments seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world", the ministers said in their statement.

North Korea is in violation of worldwide law and of U.N. Security Council resolutions by conducting the tests.

The UNSC has repeatedly adopted resolutions condemning North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and urging Pyongyang to denuclearize.

The statement was issued separately, rather than included in ASEAN's customary communique at the end of the foreign ministers meeting. He said in Manila on Sunday that Pyongyang should "not do anything unbeneficial towards the global community such as a nuclear test".

In a press briefing Sunday evening, Ando mentioned that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and ASEAN country coordinator Brunei Darussalam, through its Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng, "agreed to strengthen pressure on North Korea".

In a letter to ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho warned that the region was on the brink of war.

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The Russian foreign minister was quoted as telling Kang, "The Russian government will cooperate with the South Korean government closely for their common goal of attaining a denuclearized Korean Peninsula through peaceful ways under the firm principle of never condoning North Korea's nuclear program".

ASEAN foreign ministers stressed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety. Relative to this, the foreign ministers said they have tasked their respective senior officials to start the negotiation on the COC with China.

The ministers had been debating for at least two days on how to respond to China collectively, with Vietnam said to be strongly resisting an agreement on the framework for a code of conduct as pushed by Beijing.

"We could have done more to push China to agree to a much stronger document, holding claimant states more accountable", said one ASEAN diplomat.

TOUGH LANGUAGE Sunday's announcement was preceded by Vietnam's insistence that a tough language be stated in the joint communiqué concerning China's land reclamation in the contested waters, two diplomats involved in the talks told AFP.

"This shows our common wish to protect the peace and stability in the South China Sea", he told reporters, adding that the situation in the South China Sea is more relaxed and conducive to stability.

While some have dismissed the framework as another attempt to move the goalposts in the definitive South China Sea COC negotiations, the framework represents a breakthrough for ASEAN centrality, which has been on display since a meeting in Bali earlier this year decided on the creation of a "zero draft".


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