ASEAN urges North Korea to comply with UN resolutions

New Zealand Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee link arms with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ministers and their representatives during a ASEAN-New Zealand ministerial meeting at the Philippine International Convention Cent

After their own day of meetings Saturday, ASEAN foreign ministers released a joint statement expressing "grave concerns" over the North's first two intercontinental ballistic missile tests that were conducted last month. North Korea pulled out of the talks - which also include South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russian Federation - in 2009 to protest worldwide condemnation of a long-range rocket launch.

ASEAN's top diplomats urged DPRK for immediate and full compliance with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Furthermore, Washington wants ASEAN to do more to isolate the hermit kingdom from all ASEAN-led forums. He said in Manila on Sunday that Pyongyang should "not do anything unbeneficial towards the worldwide community such as a nuclear test".

North Korea, which has maintained close relations with ASEAN, had earlier sought support from ASEAN countries in its row with the USA to prevent a "nuclear holocaust".

'We reiterate our support for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, call for the exercise of self-restraint and underscore the importance of creating conditions conducive for dialogue to de-escalate tensions, ' they added.

"Pessimists will see this as a gambit favourable to a China determined to make the majority of the South China Sea its domestic lake".

Foreign ministers from South-east Asia and China have adopted the framework of a code of conduct (COC) to manage disputes in the South China Sea, paving the way for negotiations on an actual code to take place by the year end.

The framework papers over the big differences between ASEAN nations and China, said Patrick Cronin of the Center for a New American Security.

That the framework is broad and leaves wide scope for disagreement has critics raising doubts about how effective the COC will be.

The situation in the South China Sea should also be "generally stable", he said.

They also welcomed the successful testing of the hotline between the foreign affairs ministry of the concerned parties to manage maritime emergencies in the South China Sea. They said they have tasked senior officials to start negotiating on the Code of Conduct with China.

Perhaps even more important, President Trump renounced the TPP.

"China and ASEAN have the ability and wisdom to work together to maintain regional peace and stability", he said. To settle the maritime border dispute, each conflicting party will have to solve it bilaterally.

At the same forum a year ago, South Korea's former foreign minister Yun Byung-se also talked briefly with Ri. Over the next week, throughout the region, programs and activities are planned to promote the ASEAN sense of belonging.

He will also join celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN. Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have organised a series of seminars and discussions on various aspect of ASEAN's future.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, elected a year ago, has backed down from his insistence that China abandon the shoals at the heart of the tribunal's decision, preferring instead to accept significant Chinese economic assistance.

THE ASEAN Regional Forum is held to discuss political and security issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region.