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Southeast Asia foreign ministers deliver message to North Korea: Let's talk

13 August 2017

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"Is it that some countries do not want to see greater stability in the South China Sea?" he asked.

In the coming ASEAN meetings, this issue may well occupy much of the foreign ministers' attention. Many of the ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, are specially concerned about this issue.

Diplomats said they were still hoping the joint ASEAN statement meant to be released on Saturday would be agreed on before all the other meetings hosted by the bloc ended on Tuesday. The statement was finally issued on Sunday.

Two Southeast Asian diplomats say disagreements over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests and territorial disputes in the South China Sea have prevented the region's top diplomats from promptly issuing their joint communique after an annual summit in Manila over the weekend.

"We expect nations not to tell us what to do".

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"Lavrov emphasized that under the firm principle that it will not accept North Korea's nuclear weapons, Russian Federation will closely work with South Korea for a joint worldwide goal of achieving denuclearization in a peaceful manner", Seoul's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has tried to fortify its foothold in recent years by transforming reefs into island outposts, some with runways and radars and — more recently — weapons systems.

As next year marks the 15th anniversary of China and ASEAN establishing their strategic partnership, Xi said China would like to take the year as an opportunity to appreciate all that has been accomplished and look at what can be done over the long run.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he told Ri that North Korea should abide by United Nations prohibitions against missile and nuclear testing.

Balakrishnan said the tone of his meeting with Wang was positive, Singapore media reported.

The United States says it will be watching China closely to ensure it fully and continuously implements new U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

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All 10 countries in ASEAN have diplomatic relations with North Korea, including five that have embassies in Pyongyang.

Tensions between the two countries burst into the open last November when Hong Kong port authorities impounded nine Singaporean armoured military vehicles being shipped home from training grounds in Taiwan.

"The resolution is one that was passed unanimously thanks to cooperation from not only the U.S. but also China and Russia", Kang said.

Bolivar said the Philippines prefers a legally binding code of conduct but the consensus in ASEAN is that at the very least, the code that is still to be negotiated should be substantive and effective. The meeting is expected to be attended by 14 other ASEAN dialogue partners, including China, Russia and North Korea.

China's claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea were entirely rejected by a decision handed down by a court of arbitration in July a year ago.

A more direct warning was aimed at the United States in a government statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency.

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"Outside parties like the US will do what they think is needed to promote peace and stability in the region", Glaser said.

Southeast Asia foreign ministers deliver message to North Korea: Let's talk