North Korea calls offer of talks from the South 'insincere — BBCI

North Korea calls offer of talks from the South 'insincere — BBCI

North Korea calls offer of talks from the South 'insincere — BBCI

The minister has already held a number of bilateral meetings, in particular with his counterparts from Turkey, China and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says if the North stops testing missiles for an "extended period", the US might deem North Korea ready to talk.

Closeted in their annual gathering in Manila over the weekend, however, ASEAN foreign ministers wrangled over the tone and wordings to depict the territorial rifts involving China and five other governments in their joint statement, which unlike the chairman's statement is a negotiated document.

The code of conduct would be aimed at avoiding accidents as the claimant countries fish, explore for oil and gas or develop some of the estimated 500 tiny islets.

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Wang played down mention of the issues, including land reclamation, that critics have used to refer to China's massive island constructions in the South China Sea.

Apart from the North Korea issue, the ministers touched on the regional terrorist threat, climate change and diplomatic wrangling on overlapping claims in the South China Sea during Saturday's two-and-a-half hour closed-door meeting, Bolivar said.

Regarding the South China Sea, the ministers "took note" of the concerns expressed by some of them "on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region".

Tillerson, speaking on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Manila, said the execution and implementation of new United Nations sanctions would be carefully watched and the resolution sends a strong message that North Korea needs to understand what the world expects of it.

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KCNA said: "The "sanctions resolution" is no more than the last-ditch efforts of those frightened by the might of (North Korea)". Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" as well as tweeting that the USA was "locked and loaded".

Although the language in the ASEAN communique reflected that in previous years, some countries pursuing deeper business ties with Beijing, such as Cambodia and the Philippines, had argued for dropping it.

"ASEAN set aside the tribunal ruling, didn't complain about continued Chinese militarization of the South China Sea, watered down its joint statements, and basically wasted a year, all so they could reiterate the same principles they already agreed to in the declaration on conduct 15 years ago", Poling said prior to Sunday's announcement. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said negotiation on the code's provisions could start by November, as long as the environment is stable and there is "no major disruption from outside parties".

"I told him that [the two offers for talks] are an urgent matter that should be carried out immediately with any political agenda put aside and asked him to proactively react", she was quoted as saying.

Wang said on Monday night that with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilized, and pragmatic cooperation has unfolded. "So it is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us". The ministers supported the establishment of a new ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies (ARF ISM on ICTs) as a dedicated global forum for advancing cyber cooperation among member states.

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The US president also spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by phone to discuss rising tensions over North Korea, it said. Clapper said the USA and North Korea could "blunder" into global military conflict as they exchange escalating hostilities.

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