Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

ASEAN asks North Korea to exercise self-restraint, expresses concern over tension

ASEAN asks North Korea to exercise self-restraint, expresses concern over tension

"We have noted that the USA side has recently paid more attention to security issues on the peninsula - China has always believed that security is at the core of the problem", Wang said, at a joint press conference with the visiting the foreign minister of Turkey.

Mr. Wang repeated China's call for a "dual freeze", in which North Korea would halt its missile and nuclear programs in exchange for the USA and South Korea stopping major military exercises.

MANILA-The foreign ministers of China and North Korea started bilateral talks in Manila on Sunday ahead of a regional security meeting, a day after the United Nations Security Council agreed tough sanctions on Pyongyang over its missile tests.

China has realised that nuclear armed North Korea is becoming a greater threat to its security and is working to address the challenge posed by Pyongyang, a top U.S. official has said.

The US drafted resolution bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. We can not do one and neglect the other.

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Mr Wang also urged the USA and South Korea "to stop increasing tensions" and said that all sides should return to negotiations.

But Wang, the Chinese envoy, cast the North Korean foreign minister's presence in Manila as a positive, enabling him to "hear the voices from other sides". Estimates of North Korean workers overseas range from 50,000 to 200,000, with their labor earning the the government as much as $2 billion to $3 billion a year.

Wang called for a resumption of the stalled six-nation talks - hosted by China and including the United States, Japan, Russia as well as the two Koreas - aimed at curtailing the North's atomic ambitions.

Yet despite deeming North Korea a top security threat, the young Trump administration has struggled to find a strategy that differs significantly from what the US has tried in the past.

Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Tillerson would have the chance to engage with China's foreign minister at the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, but had no plans to meet North Korea's foreign minister there.

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Recently, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said that any new resolution by the UN Security Council "that does not significantly increase the global pressure on North Korea is of no value". Kang chimed in: "It was a very, very good outcome".

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, called it the "most impactful and expansive set of sanctions to date" and said the resolution was expected to be approved unanimously.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ruled that out on Saturday, saying Washington would continue to take "prudent defensive measures", including joint military drills with South Korea.

Soputheast Asian officials were still trying to reach consensus on a customary communiqué that was supposed to have been released on Saturday, reflecting differences about how to address disputes involving Beijing in the South China Sea.

Beijing's growing naval capability may add another wrinkle to the talks, in particular its desire to take control of the key waterways of the South China Sea, which also caused concern to the Obama administration.

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