Philippines seeks ASEAN consensus on North Korea response

Trevor Jackson
August 7, 2017

It set the stage for a fiery few days of diplomacy in the Philippine capital, with the top diplomats from China, the United States, Russia and North Korea to join their ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific counterparts for security talks from Sunday.

The Singapore-China relationship is in "good working order", said Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan on Sunday (Aug 6).

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, along with China have over the years laid claim to the South China Sea, a waterway through which approximately $5 trillion worth of trade traverse annually.

Third, with preparations basically ready and on the condition that there is no major outside interference and the South China Sea situation is generally stable, leaders of China and ASEAN member states will officially announce the start of the next step to negotiate on the text of the COC at the China-ASEAN Leaders' Summit in November.

Wang congratulated ASEAN on its 50th anniversary, saying China is happy for ASEAN's development and achievements while expressing best wishes for ASEAN's development in the next 50 years.

China has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its foreign diplomacy and has always supported ASEAN in taking a central role in regional cooperation and a bigger role in dealing with worldwide and regional affairs, he said.

Xinhua news agency is reporting that China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have approved a draft Code of Conduct common for the South China Sea.

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On Saturday, ASEAN foreign ministers adopted a separate joint statement on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, with its provisions being included into the final joint communique. One of the most important issues to be debated is the recent missile tests carried out by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK); that is why that country is participating in the meeting.

The ministers urged North Korea to "to fully and immediately comply with its obligations arising from all the relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions".

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho will attend Monday's meeting with the US, Japan and South Korea expected to push for stronger actions against the North.

When asked on their position regarding the code being legally binding, Wang said he would leave it up to the ministers. Such exchange is useful not only for the other parties but also for the DPRK.

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.

Responding to a question on bilateral issues, Wang said, "According to Article 4 of DOC, they should be addressed directly by parties involved in bilateral consultation".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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