Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Korea, US, Japan to hold foreign ministerial meeting to discuss NK issue

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson arrives for a courtesy call on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacanang Palace in Manila Philippines Monday Aug. 7 2017. Tillerson is here to attend the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and its Dialogue China calls for halt to US THAAD deployment in S.Korea
Debra Rodriguez | 09 August, 2017, 00:10

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers, however, were split on an American proposal to suspend Pyongyang from the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-nation bloc that includes North Korea and its bitter adversaries the U.S., South Korea and Japan.

Wang made remarks while meeting North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the sidelines of Asean summit here.

The ARF is an annual security gathering involving foreign ministers from almost 30 nations including China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and the ASEAN members.

Noting that sanctions were necessary but not the ultimate goal, the Minister said the measure aimed to bring parties concerned back to the negotiating table.

Yet already, there are signs that nations with the strongest ties to North Korea may fall short of the stringent enforcement that Trump and others seek.

Ri re-affirmed Pyongyang's position on the matter during the meeting, Wang said.

Wang said the first initiative was to formulate a China-ASEAN strategic partnership vision 2030 to draw a blueprint for the next stage of their bilateral relations.

Trump tweeted that he was very happy with the sanctions, which were unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council two days ago.

They also urged North Korea to fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions, and reiterated support for the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is attending the ASEAN Regional Forum, skipped the gala dinner where the two ministers spoke but is expected - along with the 24 other top diplomats from region - to be in the same room as North Korea's representative at a session later Monday. They smiled amiably and made small talk but ignored a reporter's question about how the fresh USA sanctions against Russian Federation that President Donald Trump signed last week would affect their talks.

The ministers traditionally issue a communique containing their diverse concerns, and their issuance of a separate statement on North Korea's missile tests and nuclear weapons program reflects their deep worries about the issue. "So it is all about how we see their attitude towards approaching a dialogue with us".

"They're nearly going from sanctions to embargo and really trying to slam the North Korean economy", Delury said. Kang is thanking the USA for consulting with South Korea on the sanctions.

"China and Russian Federation voted with us".

"I think perhaps the more important element to that is just the message that this sends to North Korea about the unacceptability the entire worldwide community finds what they're doing to be", he said.

"It's clear that China's pressure on individual ASEAN governments has paid off", said Bill Hayton, an expert on the South China Sea and associate fellow with the Asian Programme at Chatham House in London.

Just over a year ago, Manila was celebrating an unprecedented worldwide ruling in its favour against China in the disputed South China Sea.

The conference also discussed orientations for their cooperation in the time ahead, compared viewpoints on regional and worldwide issues, and looked into preparations for the 20th ASEAN + 3 Summit in November.

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