North Korea top of agenda at ASEAN meeting

China to endorse South China Sea code of conduct

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.

And the White House says they committed to fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the worldwide community to do so as well. "Can we get to the point where the North Koreans do not see the necessity of having nuclear weapons?"

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says he urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by United Nations resolutions and stop provoking "the global community's goodwill" with missile launches and nuclear tests.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who is chairing the Manila meetings, said on Friday ASEAN would not consider expelling North Korea from the ARF. He left Pyongyang on Saturday and was en route to Manila, the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

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.

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. "Our continued intercontinental ballistic missile tests were stern warnings to the USA, who is doing reckless military adventure and dirty sanctions against us while sitting on the other side of the pacific", KCNA said.

Still, the key concern is over China, the North's economic lifeline and biggest trading partner.

SEOUL/MANILA-South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed to apply maximum pressure and sanctions on North Korea in a telephone call on Monday, while China expressed hope that North and South Korea could resume contact soon.

John Delury, a China and North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, noted that the Chinese population that lives along the 800-mile (1,300-km) border with North Korea is already struggling financially.

In a phone call, South Korea's Moon and Trump said they would continue cooperating to rein in North Korea, particularly ahead of a regular joint military drill set for late August, South Korean presidential office spokesman Park Su-hyun said.

Tillerson said Washington would not "specify a specific number of days or weeks" before deciding that North Korea had indeed stopped its tests. "If you really start to go down that path, I'm not sure how far the Chinese will go down with you".

One of the diplomats tells The Associated Press that Cambodia expressed concern over the issuance by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' foreign ministers of a separate statement criticizing North Korea's two ICBM tests last month.

"I think perhaps the more important element to that is just the message that this sends to North Korea about the unacceptability the entire worldwide community finds what they're doing to be", he said.

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