Manila says can not prevent North Korea attending ASEAN

04 Août, 2017, 21:21 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Drew Angerer  Getty Images

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa to have 15 official bilateral meetings, including with JapanThe meeting of foreign ministers at the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which is being held in Manila from August 6 to 8, will be the first multilateral diplomatic gathering since North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Acting US Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton told reporters in Washington: "What we would expect to see this year at the (ARF) meeting would be a general chorus of condemnation of North Korea's provocative behaviour".

UNITED STATES Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will push for diplomatic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme, with a top adviser stating the USA hopes for a "chorus of condemnation" from Asia-Pacific nations at a regional security meeting this weekend.

Several representatives from North Korea have previously come to the Philippines and requested not to embarrass their country during the regional meeting where foreign ministers from the United States, Russia, China and Japan will attend.

At the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and relevant conferences, the foreign ministers will discuss progress and future orientations of the building the ASEAN Community, as well as share their views to bolster regional and global development, said spokesperson of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

Founded in 1993 by ASEAN foreign ministers, the ARF aims to foster dialogue and consultation on political and security concerns among Asia-Pacific nations.

Recently, Pyongyang tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which flew for about 45 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.

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"While (Washington) exerts pressure on North Korea, it should leave some alternatives for Pyongyang and make it believe that abandoning its nuclear and missile programmes will do more good than insisting on this path".

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte attacked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the tests.

In May, Duterte told U.S. President Donald Trump Kim is "not stable", according to a leaked transcript from the Philippines' foreign affairs department.

"And of course, all of us surrounding the region are very much concerned about the potential for escalation of this issue", Bolivar said. There was no clear procedure in removing a member state, he said. And he also signed into law sanctions on North Korea, along with Russian Federation and Iran.

A foreign ministry official said that bilateral talks to be held between South Korea and China on the sidelines of the ASEAN meetings will be yet another "focal point" as China will likely step up its demand for the withdrawal of the THAAD system from the Korean Peninsula.

But he noted that the ARF was the only forum where North Korea was a participant, and could be a venue for continuing discussions.

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