Asean, China adopt framework for further talks on Code of Conduct


In a speech at the ASEAN Regional Forum, North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said that "under no circumstances" would it negotiate away its nuclear weapons, according to a transcript.

North Korea is barred under United Nations resolutions from any use of ballistic missile technology but six sets of United Nations sanctions since Pyongyang's first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

North Korea will not be ousted from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, the lone security summit where Pyongyang sends its top envoy to engage in dialogue with other foreign ministers, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Tuesday. And the White House says they committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the worldwide community to do so as well.

A statement from the White House says Trump and Moon "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world".

Along with stopping the missile launches, North Korea would have to quit its nuclear weapons testing, he said recently. "We must be tough & decisive!"

North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Defense experts say the ICBM could reach as far as the USA states of Alaska and Hawaii, but questions remain over whether North Korea can field an ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear warhead on its cone that could survive reentry into earth's atmosphere.

North Korea launched two missiles last month that experts say have the range to reach anywhere in the US including Los Angeles and Chicago.

While North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and its allies, the report was unusual in its detail.

The strongest sanctions yet against North Korea could still prove no match for the communist country's relentless nuclear weapons ambitions.

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"To China - as a neighbour to both North Korea and South Korea - we support the positive initiatives by the new South Korean government and we are willing to see such contacts happen as soon as possible".

Although the Philippines has taken steps to improve ties with China under its current leader, Rodrigo Duterte, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Friday "we don't find (the sail-by) objectionable".

The Chinese embassy officials gave no reason for the cancellation of the meeting scheduled for Monday in Manila between China's Wang Yi and Vietnam's Pham Binh Minh.

A serious president would follow the rough outline laid out by one of America's most seasoned Asia-China hands, Jeffrey Bader, which is summarized in a smart paper on titled "Why Deterring and Containing North Korea Is Our Least Bad Option".

The North Korean government said in a statement that the sanctions were a "violent infringement of its sovereignty" drawn up by a "heinous USA plot to isolate and stifle" the country.

Within hours of Trump's statement, North Korea issued a statement warning of a possible strike on areas around the USA territory of Guam.

Beijing is sensitive to even a veiled reference by ASEAN to its reclamation of seven reefs and its military installations in the South China Sea, which it claims in nearly its entirety despite the competing claims of five other countries.

Tillerson did not specify how long North Korea would need to suspend its missile launches.

But Daniel Russel, the former top US diplomat for East Asia until April, said this so-called NY channel had been a relatively commonplace means of communication with North Korea over the years, and it was not a forum for negotiation. Furthermore, they ban any new joint business ventures with the North Korean regime, as well as fresh investment into such existing ventures.

The U.N. sanctions, which target the weapons program, said Sifton, don't really get North Korea's illegal weapons trade with countries such as Nigeria and Uganda but it targets the regime.