China urges North Korea to stop missile tests

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho left walks toward an escalator during ongoing meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center for the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings in Manila Philippines Monday Aug

Wang Yi also said the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and China and ASEAN counties have confidence working together in a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Wang made these remarks after he and ASEAN foreign ministers on Sunday adopted the framework of a COC in the South China Sea.

Two Southeast Asian diplomats say disagreements over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests and territorial disputes in the South China Sea have prevented the region's top diplomats from promptly issuing their joint communique after an annual summit in Manila over the weekend.

"Certainly we want to resolve this issue through negotiations, and this pressure campaign, the sanctions, it's all about trying to convince the North Koreans that the fast way forward is to come back to the table and talk", said Susan Thornton, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

Yet already, there are signs that nations with the strongest ties to North Korea may fall short of the stringent enforcement that Trump and others seek.

United States officials have insisted that while Tillerson and Ri will be in the same room during the Manila forum, there would be no direct meeting between the two envoys. Triggering an economic meltdown in North Korea would inevitably produce a spillover effect in China, he said.

The ministers of the 10-member group expressed "grave concerns over the escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula" following Pyongyang's ballistic missile launches in July.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is attending the ASEAN Regional Forum, skipped the gala dinner where the two ministers spoke but is expected - along with the 24 other top diplomats from region - to be in the same room as North Korea's representative at a session later Monday.

"China and Russian Federation voted with us".

"It was a good outcome", Tillerson said of the Security Council vote.

The separate joint statement by ASEAN foreign ministers released on Saturday indicated the grouping's growing concerns about the rising tension in the Korean Peninsula and solidarity among the member countries. "It is all about how we see their attitude toward approaching a dialogue with us".

But short of war, which military analysts and diplomats say would probably lead to a devastating counterattack on Seoul, sanctions are among the few options the United States and its allies have. "I think there's no alternative to that".

South Korea's Kang Kyung-wha exchanged words with her North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho ahead of the ASEAN Regional Forum, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap and broadcaster YTN.

Fifteen years ago ASEAN foreign ministers signed an even more strongly worded document committing the countries to begin negotiations with Beijing over China's claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, through which passes one third of global shipping, including much of Australia's.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is ASEAN chairman this year, moved swiftly after taking office last year to revive his country's once-frosty ties with China while taking an antagonistic attitude toward its US ally.

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