ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com August 21, 2017


Japan Voices Concern over Militarization of South China Sea (News)

13 August 2017, 10:37 | Erica Roy

The Latest: US tells China to fully execute NKorea sanctions

Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims

The ASEAN bloc called Saturday on North Korea to refrain from carrying out more nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, saying these contributed to escalating tensions in Asia.

The two ministers managed to shake hands and shared a brief conversation ahead of a gala dinner Sunday for top delegates of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Manila, Seoul officials said.

South Korea proposed talks with the North last month to ease tensions and resume reunions of families separated by the Korean War, but Pyongyang has yet to officially respond.

He noted that ASEAN has played an important role in securing regional peace and stability since its founding half a century ago, and it has become a force that represents the world's developing multipolar nature.

Later on Saturday, the Security Council in NY unanimously passed a resolution that imposes even tougher sanctions aimed at depriving the communist state of up to $1 billion in annual revenue from exports of coal, iron, iron ore and other products, news reports said.

Zhang Baohui, a mainland security expert based in Hong Kong, said China questions whether Singapore is honest when it says it didn't want to choose between the United States and China.

Though Beijing repeated its call for the United States and North Korea to resume talks, the USA said that was still premature, and rejected yet again a Chinese call for the U.S.to freeze joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development. Aside from calling for more sanctions, Trump's approach has centered on enlisting China - the North's biggest trading partner - and others to lessen ties to Pyongyang.

"This is an expression of concern over the developments in the Korean Peninsula", Bolivar told a news conference.

Wang said on Monday night that with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilized, and pragmatic cooperation has unfolded.


U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Vietnamese counterpart Ngo Xuan Lich in Washington on Tuesday that a strong defense relationship was based on common interests that included freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. All countries are now banned from importing North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood products, and from letting in more North Korean laborers whose remittances help fund Kim Jong Un's regime.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China hailed the adoption on Sunday of a negotiating framework for the code of conduct as progress towards preventing disputes.

In a joint statement released earlier, the foreign ministers of the three countries said the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal, which favored the Philippines, was "final and legally binding".

But after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte past year, Manila has played down the verdict in favour of pursuing warmer ties with Beijing, a move that led to offers of billions of dollars in investments or aid from China. The ministers also urged ASEAN member states to maximize pressure on North Korea.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho also says that his country has no intention of using nuclear weapons against any country "except the U.S". The two primary issues at the formal sessions are North Korea and the South China Sea.

Tillerson says the US has "other means of communication" open to North Korea if the country wants to express to the USA a desire to talk.

Should those talks occur, they would be the first military-to-military dialogue in three years. Beijing frequently accuses the US of meddling in what it says is an Asian dispute that should be resolved only by the countries involved.

Chinese state media on Monday acknowledged North Korea had to be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the United States for its "arrogance".



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