Marcha 25, 2018

Don't tell us what to do, PH tells countries on sea dispute

13 Agosto 2017, 09:04 | Crisanna Felipe

Issues before ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila

Philippines rejects advice on South China Sea row

Foreign ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations linked arms on stage after adopting a "negotiating framework for a code of conduct" in the South China Sea, hailing a breakthrough in territorial disputes over the world's tensest set of waterways. Instead, Ri's spokesman handed reporters a copy of a speech that Ri had given at the meeting.

"This kind of moral equivalency that's implied by the freeze for freeze, which is between the North Koreans shooting off missiles that are prohibited and our reasonably defensive exercises that we undertake in our alliance with the South Koreans to protect them from these launches, is not a reasonable kind of a trade", Thornton said.

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

ASEAN failed to issue the customary statement on Saturday, over what diplomats said was disagreement about whether to make oblique references to China's rapid expansion of its defence capabilities on artificial islands in disputed waters. While its members acknowledge the concern, they also say it guarantees solidarity in decisions and statements they come up with.

North Korea launched two missiles last month that experts say have the range to reach anywhere in the USA including Los Angeles and Chicago. Cayetano said at a news conference on Tuesday.

However, he added, "Frankly speaking, I was disappointed when I heard your remarks in the EAS foreign ministers' meeting today. So it is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us".

Representing the United States at the dinner was Susan Thornton " acting assistant secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

But North Korea must face up to the reality.

China, North Korea's lone major ally, has repeatedly said it is committed to enforcing increasingly tough United Nations resolutions on North Korea, though it has also said what it terms "normal" trade and ordinary North Koreans should not be affected.

According to Yonhap, Ri recently rebuffed South Korea's recent offer of talks, citing a "lack of sincerity".

It said it would take a "stern action of justice".

"He said he's not going to tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States", he said.

North Korea rarely attends, or is even invited to, worldwide forums like the ASEAN meeting. Kono reiterated the need for South Korea to faithfully implement the December 28 agreement, while Kang observed that the agreement is emotionally unacceptable to the South Korean public.

Mr Tillerson said halting missile test launches, which have anxious neighbours South Korea and Japan, was a first step toward dialogue. Washington has rejected that, as a moral inequivalency. The three diplomats reportedly expressed their agreement that China needs to play a proactive role in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. But he also said that sanctions, while needed, "are not the final goal", and called for dialogue. The global community is firmly united in opposing the North's emergence as a nuclear state. The resolution also prevents the North from increasing the number of workers it sends overseas.

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