Sanctions, talks important for N. Korean nuclear issue: China

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 6, 2017

Topping the agenda are North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests, an attempt to temper South China Sea disputes and unease over a siege by pro-Islamic State group militants in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, which has dragged on for more than two months.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha says she will stress the need for the worldwide community to unite and send a strong message of zero nuclear tolerance to North Korea at upcoming meetings of the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said he would consult fellow ASEAN ministers after dinner Friday about the call for North Korea's removal and suggested there may not be a consensus.

Speaking on the sidelines of a regional foreign ministers' meeting in Manila, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the United Nations resolution's call for a return to talks emphasised that diplomatic and peaceful means were necessary to avoid tensions.

Wang also met with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings, saying that he urged Ri to abide by the United Nations resolutions.

The Philippines is host as this year's chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, left, poses with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for a photo prior to their bilateral meeting in the sideline of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and its Dialogue Partners.

"We provided an explanation", Lavrov said, referring to Russia's decision to take over a summer-house compound in Moscow leased by the USA embassy and an order to slash USA diplomatic presence in Russian Federation.

North Korea has been under United Nations sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Critics, however, say the framework serves only as a brief outline of previously agreed principles and fails to mention concerns over China's newly built islands or an arbitration ruling a year ago that invalidated Beijing's claims to virtually all of the South China Sea.

"The Chinese side urged the North Korean side to calmly handle the resolutions the U.N. Security Council just made towards North Korea and to not do anything unbeneficial towards the worldwide community such as a nuclear test".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no plans to hold talks with Ri in the Philippines, his aides have said, but could meet him inside one of the meetings.

The North would respond by claiming "during the meeting that its nuclear weapons program is an act of self-defense against a hostile policy towards it", the draft statement said.

"I am looking very much forward to the meetings in Manila". The fighting has left almost 700 combatants, including more than 520 gunmen, and civilians dead and displaced the entire population of the mosque-studded city. Those steps include promoting moderation and using social media "to counter the spread of terrorists' narratives online".

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