China's sanctions support shows recognition of gravity of North Korea threat

ASEAN Secretariat Le Loung Minh Laos Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Myanmar Minister of State of Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin watch during the Welcome Dinner for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers

South Korean FM Open to Meeting North Korean Counterpart

"The ministers called on the global community to implement strictly (the U.N.) resolutions and impose additional diplomatic and economic measures" to urge North Korea to "abandon its current threatening and provocative path and immediately take steps to denuclearize", the statement said.

The ministers failed to release a customary joint statement after meeting on Saturday due to their differences on the sea issue, and follow-up negotiations the morning after did not end the stand-off, two diplomats involved in the talks told AFP earlier Sunday.

On Saturday, the UNSC adopted a fresh sanctions resolution unanimously to punish the North for its two claimed intercontinental ballistic missile launches in July.

"These developments seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world", said a joint statement". The two primary issues at the formal sessions are North Korea and the South China Sea.

The framework was agreed by senior diplomats from Asean and China in the southwestern Chinese city of Guiyang in May. This has delayed the expected release of an ASEAN communique today.

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson, center, links arms with ASEAN foreign ministers as they take part in the ASEAN-U.S. Tillerson says he and the South Korean diplomat plan to discuss the sanctions during their meeting, along with next steps to pressure the North. She says the US rejects any "moral equivalency" implied by that proposal.

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.

Kang was in Manila to attend ASEAN meetings, including the ASEAN Regional Forum, a rare global event to which North Korea also sends its foreign minister annually.

The ministers cited acts that violate the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was signed in 2002.

Diplomatic sources said that with Asean's attention turned to North Korea and the threat of Islamist extremism in the region, the ministers are likely to merely "note" concerns over China's purported militarisation of islands in the South China Sea.

"It was a good outcome", he said with a smile.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends the 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) foreign ministers' meeting in Manila, the Philippines, Aug. 7, 2017.

In a bid to spur inclusive regional growth and stand up against protectionism, President Duterte has endorsed the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pact over the United States-initiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal which he claimed was a "dream that was no longer there".

"We should fully appreciate these important improvements and cherish the achievement made with our joint efforts", Wang said.

Tillerson also said that the United States has not made any decisions on how to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering the US to reduce its diplomatic staff in the country by 755.

In view of this positive momentum, they reaffirmed their readiness to begin the substantive negotiation on the COC.

"We have carried out effective cooperations and have brought it back to the track to resolve disputes through direct dialogue and negotiation by the parties directly concerned", he said.

ASEAN is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with the Philippines chairing the organization with the theme "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World".

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