Tillerson Holds Talks on Security, Economic Issues at ASEAN Summit

Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims

Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims

During a session with the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) at the bloc's annual Regional Forum on Friday, the Philippines emphasised the need to continue to promote human rights without politicising the issue.

The ASEAN ministers failed to release the joint statement as expected after meeting on Saturday due to their differences on the sea issue, with Vietnam pushing for tougher language and Cambodia lobbying hard for China.

Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said countries locked in the sea disputes should halt provocative moves to foster a diplomatic resolution.

In the printed version of the speech, Ri said that the entire USA mainland is within firing range of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which is North Korea's official name.

"Do not violate the U.N.'s decision or provoke worldwide society's goodwill by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests", Wang said, in an unusually direct admonition.

Chinese and ASEAN foreign ministers approved a negotiating framework for a code of conduct during a meeting at the weekend in the Philippines. After a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the Summit, Wang told media he'd warned North Korea off testing the "goodwill" of the global community and to take a "double suspension" approach, in which North Korea would cease nuclear testing and the United States and Japan would end military drills in the area.

"I said these two matters were extremely important and needed to be addressed ahead of any other political matters, and that we hoped for a positive, proactive response", Kang explained.

Tillerson met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of the ASEAN event in Manila on Sunday, where he also asked about Moscow's retaliation to new USA sanctions against Russia. 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.

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

Yet despite deeming North Korea a top security threat, the young Trump administration has struggled to find a strategy that differs significantly from what the USA has tried in the past. With 27 foreign ministers from around the world attending, including the US, Russia and China, all eyes were on North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong. Wang urged the United States and South Korea, as well as the North, not to increase tensions, saying the situation already is at a "critical point".

Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm.

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

August 6 (EIRNS)-On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the foreign ministers of the ten members of Asian and other countries in the Asia Pacific region are meeting starting today in the Philippines, this year's chairman of ASEAN.

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