ASEAN firmly condemns North Korean missile tests


Thornton says the US isn't now considering China's proposal to freeze USA military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development.

He said he is expecting the resolution's full implementation from ASEAN member countries.

"Indonesia welcomes the adoption of the CoC framework by the foreign ministers of ASEAN [member countries] and China", Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on Sunday afternoon, as quoted by the ministry spokesperson. "That is an unfair condition to place on these negotiations", Batongbacal said Monday.

The ministers cited acts that violate the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was signed in 2002.

While Asean foreign ministers emphasized the importance of non-militarization on their communique, there was no direct mention of China and its reported fortification of features in the contested waters in the document.

The Philippines called the conclusion of talks between China and ASEAN to finalise the framework "a very big step".

It also emphasises that the COC "is not an instrument to settle territorial disputes or maritime delimitation issues".

"We also look forward to the designation of 2018 as the ASEAN-China Year of Innovation Cooperation", the ministers said.

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China claims almost all of the strategically vital sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

China claims almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea that is also claimed by Asean members the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei.

With regard to the different opinions being raised against China, which seemed bent on militarizing the South China Sea despite a ruling by the International Tribunal, Wang said China does not comment on which individual country or countries have raised the issue.

North Korea's top diplomat, Ri Hong-Yo, is also attending the regional summit, which is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Well Da-eun, the trilateral foreign ministers meeting of South Korea, the US and Japan has been delayed for about forty minutes starting at around 12:30 p.m. local time.

Although the US government has leaned on much of Asia to condemn North Korea's tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, a Philippine foreign affairs spokesman declined to make a USA connection.

The situation in the Korean Peninsula is extremely tense on the background of the active development of North Korea's missile program.

Upon arriving at an airport here on Saturday to join the ASEAN meetings, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters that she would like to urge the North to stop its provocations and ask it to positively respond to Seoul's recent offers for talks when she has a chance to meet North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.

On Saturday ASEAN released a joint statement following a meeting of its own foreign ministers saying the North's missile tests "seriously threaten" global peace, but they stopped short of any moves to isolate Pyongyang.