World South China Sea, North Korea tensions at security forum

12:21  05 august  2017
12:21  05 august  2017 Source:   AFP

South Korea Asks to Increase Its Firepower

  South Korea Asks to Increase Its Firepower The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has asked the U.S. to open negotiations that would allow it to build more powerful ballistic missiles in order to counter an increasingly aggressive North Korea. On Friday, Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), its second this month, that flew about 2,300 miles straight up and crashed into the sea some 620 miles away. U.S. General H.R. McMaster confirmed early Saturday that Washington had accepted Moon’s offer, and would begin negotiations shortly. The decision is remarkable change of direction for Moon, who came to office just two months ago.

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

MANILA: Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

The gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers is expected to see a fiery few days of diplomacy, with the top diplomats from China, the United States, Russia and North Korea set to join their ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific counterparts for security talks© Provided by AFP The gathering of ASEAN foreign ministers is expected to see a fiery few days of diplomacy, with the top diplomats from China, the United States, Russia and North Korea set to join their ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific counterparts for security talks

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

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Ahead of the launch of the annual gathering of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam made a bold play against China with a raft of suggested changes to a planned joint communique.

South Korea Asks to Increase Its Firepower

  South Korea Asks to Increase Its Firepower The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has asked the U.S. to open negotiations that would allow it to build more powerful ballistic missiles in order to counter an increasingly aggressive North Korea. On Friday, Pyongyang fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), its second this month, that flew about 2,300 miles straight up and crashed into the sea some 620 miles away. U.S. General H.R. McMaster confirmed early Saturday that Washington had accepted Moon’s offer, and would begin negotiations shortly. The decision is remarkable change of direction for Moon, who came to office just two months ago.

Ahead of the launch of the annual gathering of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam made a bold play against China with a raft of suggested changes to a planned joint communique.

MANILA: Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began on Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

It set the stage for what was expected to be a fiery few days of diplomacy in the Philippine capital, with the top diplomats from China, the United States, Russia and North Korea set to join their ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific counterparts for security talks from Sunday.

The meetings will take place as the United Nations Security Council votes this weekend on a US-drafted resolution to toughen sanctions against North Korea to punish the isolated regime for its missile and nuclear tests.

The United States said it would also seek to build unified pressure on the North at the Manila event -- known as the ASEAN Regional Forum -- and Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Pyongyang would receive a strong message.

South China Sea, North Korea tensions at security forum

  South China Sea, North Korea tensions at security forum Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme. Ahead of the launch of the annual gathering of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam made a bold play against China with a raft of suggested changes to a planned joint communique.

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansions in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear program.

But on the South China Sea dispute -- one of Asia's other top powder keg issues -- there was far less consensus with Vietnam resisting efforts by the Philippines to placate Beijing, diplomats told AFP.

Vietnam on Friday night sought to insert tough language against China in an ASEAN statement that was scheduled to be released after the Southeast Asian ministers wrapped up their own talks on Saturday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations.: Map showing members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.© Provided by AFP Map showing members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

According to a copy of a draft obtained by AFP, Vietnam lobbied for ASEAN to express serious concern over "construction" in the sea, in reference to China's ramped up artificial island building in the disputed waters in recent years.

Vietnam also wanted ASEAN to insist in the statement that a planned code of conduct for the sea with China be "legally binding", which Beijing opposes.

- Tense talks -

China calls for halt to U.S. THAAD deployment in S.Korea

  China calls for halt to U.S. THAAD deployment in S.Korea China on Saturday called for a halt to the deployment of the THAAD U.S. anti-missile defense system in South Korea and for relevant equipment to be dismantled, China's U.N. Ambassador Liu Jieyi told the U.N. Security Council. "The deployment of the THAAD system will not bring a solution to the issue of (North Korea's) nuclear testing and missile launches," Liu told the council after it imposed new sanctions on North Korea over two long-range missile launches.He also urged North Korea to "cease taking actions that might further escalate tensions.

Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear program.

MANILA: Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

The lobbying occurred when the ASEAN foreign ministers held unscheduled and informal talks late on Friday night.

"The discussions were really hard. Vietnam is on its own to have stronger language on the South China Sea. Cambodia and Philippines are not keen to reflect that," one diplomat involved in the talks told AFP.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

China has in recent years expanded its presence in the sea by building the artificial islands, which are capable of holding military bases.

Alongside Vietnam, the Philippines used to be the most vocal critic of Beijing's expansionism.

But, under President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has sought to downplay the dispute with China in return for billions of dollars in Chinese investments and aid.

Beijing claims nearly all of the strategically vital South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei© Provided by AFP Beijing claims nearly all of the strategically vital South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei

China has in recent years also successfully lobbied other ASEAN nations, particularly Cambodia, to support its diplomatic manoeuvring in the dispute.

Stop missile tests, China tells North Korea

  Stop missile tests, China tells North Korea <p>China's foreign minister has told his North Korean counterpart that Pyongyang should stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests, hours after fresh sanctions were agreed by the United Nations Security Council.</p>Wang Yi said he urged Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines.

Vietnam urged other South -east Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

MANILA: Vietnam urged other Southeast Asian nations to take a stronger stand against Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea , as a tense regional security forum began Saturday (Aug 5) with North Korea also under fire over its nuclear programme.

At the ASEAN opening ceremony on Saturday morning, Cayetano confirmed there had been strong debates on Friday.

"You have to excuse my voice as, my colleagues, we kept each other up until almost midnight last night. In the true ASEAN way we were able to passionately argue our national interest," Cayetano said.

Various diplomats said that Vietnam was likely to lose its battle to insert the strong language against China, with the Philippines as host of the talks wielding greater influence.

ASEAN is set to this weekend endorse a framework for a code of conduct with China, which is meant to pave the way for more concrete action.

But security analysts point out that the framework comes 15 years after negotiations on the issue first began, and China has used that time to cement its claims with the artificial islands.

Another pressing issue in Manila will be the growing terrorism threat in the region.

The event is taking place as Philippine security forces battle Islamic State-aligned gunmen who have since May been occupying parts of Marawi, the nation's main Muslim city about 800 kilometres (500 miles) to the south of Manila.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also set to meet Duterte on the sidelines of the event, with those talks expected to cover the Philippine president's controversial drug war that has claimed thousands of lives.

Poll: Trump's approval rating rebounds amid North Korea tensions .
President Trump's approval rating has rebounded after a week of rising tensions with North Korea, according to a Rasmussen poll released Friday afternoon.Trump's approval rating in the right-leaning poll now stands at 45 percent, a six-point jump from a 39 percent approval rating in the sa me poll last week. The new rating marks Trump's highest approval the poll has recorded since July 12. Trump has spent the week escalating tensions with North Korea after the nation announced it was moving forward with developing plans to attack the island territory of Guam. On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that U.S.

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