Sanctions, talks important for N. Korean nuclear issue: China

  • Sanctions, talks important for N. Korean nuclear issue: China

Sanctions, talks important for N. Korean nuclear issue: China

The still pushing for North Korea's expulsion from the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-member body that deals with security issues, and some members have been receptive to the idea, according to Thornton.

Aside from the United Nations, the ARF was the only venue where the worldwide community, including Southeast Asian countries, could reach North Korea, a Philippine official said recently.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the ministers were divided over a US proposal to suspend the North from the ASEAN Regional Forum, which will hold its annual meeting on Monday.

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".

Mr Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm.

Though Beijing repeated its call for the United States and North Korea to resume talks, the USA said that was still premature, and rejected yet again a Chinese call for the freeze joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development. China and Russian Federation voted with us.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to attend the Manila meeting and will press China and other Asian countries to take tougher action against North Korea.

Back in the U.S., President Trump also celebrated the new sanctions with several tweets and a statement from his press secretary Sarah Sanders late Saturday night.

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Even as the top U.S. diplomat seeks to ratchet up the pressure, he threw an olive branch to North Korea during remarks to the press on Tuesday: "We hope that at some point, they will begin to understand that and that we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek", he said.

The top diplomats from all those nations are in Manila for the ASEAN Regional Forum, an annual security forum, which begins on Monday.

The North Korean envoy hasn't spoken publicly since arriving in the Philippines. Tillerson says he and the South Korean diplomat plan to discuss the sanctions during their meeting, along with next steps to pressure the North.

The resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state - stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings estimated at $3 billion per year.

Pyongyang tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, claiming it now had the ability to hit the US. When Tillerson announced it at the United Nations in April, he asked countries to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with the country, and increase it's financial isolation.

The ASEAN position is short of the tougher line on North Korea urged by the United States, which wants Southeast Asian countries to downgrade their relations with the already isolated nation. Beijing praised Tillerson for declaring the US wasn't seeking regime change in North Korea. And China joined the 15-0 vote in the Security Council on Saturday on the new sanctions.

But the Trump administration has said it is open to negotiations once North Korea halts its illegal ballistic missile and nuclear programs.