ASEAN ministers voice 'grave concerns' over Korea tensions

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 9, 2017

"Minister Kang strongly condemned the North's repeated provocations and emphasized the need for the worldwide community to be more united and faithfully carry out the U.N. Security Council's Resolution 2371", the ministry said in a press release.

According to the Yonhap News Agency, the meeting took place on Sunday on the sidelines of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings, which is now underway in Manila. Despite that, Pyongyang has continued developing its nuclear and weapons program.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula often dominate the ARF because it is one of the few annual diplomatic gatherings attended by the key stakeholders: South Korea, North Korea, the United States, Russia, China and Japan.

The UN Security Council on Saturday imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July.

"There were views that, 'How can we hear them out or confront them if they're not there?' But there's also a view that we should give them an ultimatum", Cayetano said late Friday after discussing the issue with other foreign ministers.

Tillerson said Washington would not "specify a specific number of days or weeks" before deciding that North Korea had indeed stopped its tests.

In July Seoul proposed military talks with Pyongyang but the North refused to respond. The new resolution also bans investment activities in relation to North Korea, such as joint ventures, and designates several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, as well as imposes an assets freeze on some entities.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged "the North Korean side to calmly handle the resolutions".

Tillerson said the support of China and Russian Federation for the sanctions sent a strong message to North Korea about what was expected of it.

Under the current guidelines, last changed in 2012, South Korea can develop missiles up to a range of 800 km (497 miles) with a maximum payload of 500 kg (1,102 pounds). Kang, South Korea's first female foreign minister, said any meeting with Ri would be an opportunity "to deliver our desire for the North to stop its provocations and positively respond to our recent special offers (for talks) aimed at establishing a peace regime".

The White House said the two leaders "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat" to most countries around the world.

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