At the closing ceremonies of the 50th Asean Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said the joint communiqué that called for nonmilitarization and self-restraint in South China Sea activities reflects the sentiment of the whole Asean.
It said that after extensive discussions, concerns were voiced by some members about land reclamation "and activities in the area which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tension and may undermine peace, security and stability".
A USA push to further isolate North Korea appeared to be reaping some dividends Sunday as China, Pyongyang's major benefactor, urged its outcast neighbor to make a "smart decision" and stop conducting missile launches and nuclear tests. In what was apparently a chance meeting at a gala dinner Sunday night, Ri spoke briefly with his counterpart from South Korea, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Themed "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World", the summit, which will end on August 8, is also participated by non-ASEAN states, including the United States.
Ri says in the speech that responsibility for the Korean Peninsula crisis lies exclusively with Washington.
North Korean's top diplomat says "under no circumstances" will it put its nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles on the negotiating table.
But North Korea is not in a conciliatory mood.
While Manila values its relationship with the three countries, Cayetano urged them not to meddle with the country's maritime dispute with China because "the problem of territorial disputes between China and the Philippines is between China and the Philippines".
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North Korea spokesman, Bang Kwang Hyok, told South Korean news service, Money Today on Monday he would make an announcement "today" regarding its stance on the tougher measures.
The urgency of the situation was underlined by President Donald Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who told MSNBC news that the United States leader was reviewing plans for a "preventive war".
He says the North is "ready to teach the US a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force".
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says he urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by United Nations resolutions and stop provoking "the worldwide community's goodwill" with missile launches and nuclear tests.
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. He also emphasized China and Russia's participation in the vote.
Wang apparently expressed hope that Kono's inauguration as foreign minister will provide a good opportunity for improving China's relations with Japan, while also criticizing Japan on South China Sea issues.
The situation in the Korean Peninsula is extremely tense on the background of the active development of North Korea's missile program.
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