News / Asia

    ASEAN Cites Progress on N. Korea, South China Sea

    Foreign ministers and government officials attend the US - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Nusa Dua on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, July 23, 2011
    Foreign ministers and government officials attend the US - Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Nusa Dua on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, July 23, 2011

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Brian Padden

    North and South Korean leaders met for a second time on Saturday, the final day of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) security forum in Bali. ASEAN leaders cite facilitating the talks between the Koreas and the adoption of guidelines they hope will lead to a resolution to disputes in the South China Sea as major achievements of the conference.

    A U.S. official described the talks between North and South Korean officials as substantial, productive and civil in tone. Still there was no announcement that the six party talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program would resume.

    Foreign ministers from all six countries involved in the negotiations, the United States, China, Russia, Japan and North and South Korea, all attended the ASEAN conference.

    ASEAN Chairman and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said ASEAN's efforts to bring the two sides together is a sign of the organization's evolving role in fostering peace in the region.

    "The conducive atmosphere we were able to facilitate [has] made it possible for our two brothers North and South Korea to be able to have their meetings at the sidelines of our meetings here in Bali," said Natalegawa.  "It must be emphasized that meetings of this type, informal, at the technical, at the senior official, indeed at the ministerial level would not have happened without a purposeful, deliberative and even low key efforts on the part of many of us."

    The meetings between the Koreas were the first such session since 2008 when North Korea walked out on disarmament talks to protest international criticism of its missile and nuclear tests. Relations with South Korea have been tense ever since.

    Pyongyang, which badly needs humanitarian and economic aid, has indicated in recent months that it might be ready to return to the negotiations.

    North Korea's main ally, China, has been pressing for a speedy resumption of the talks.

    The U.S. said it was grateful to see dialogue, but does not want to return to the unsuccessful past strategy of offering economic aid for concessions, only to see North Korea renege on its promises.

    ASEAN leaders also cited the adoption of a preliminary plan to resolve territorial disputes in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea as another major achievement of the conference. China and all ASEAN members agreed to a set of broad guidelines to implement a 2002 Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea.

    One-third of the world's shipping transits through the strategic waterway and China claims the sea in its entirety. The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia hold conflicting territorial claims.

    But not all ASEAN delegates are happy with the agreement. Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says the guidelines do not directly address the disputed areas or the validity of China's claim to territory over 1,000 kilometers from its shore. Instead he wants to see a framework that is specific, determinable and measurable.

    "I think that guidelines as they are now are incomplete," said del Rosario.  "That to effectively implement the guidelines you need to find a process to segregate the disputed areas from the undisputed areas. We submitted a framework for that purpose and that framework is going to be vetted by legal experts from the ASEAN countries and this will take place in Manila [at the] end of September."

    He says the Philippines is bolstered by the U.S. stated views that parties comply with international law to resolve their disputes.

    ASEAN leaders says some progress was also made at the annual security forum to urge Burma to make democratic reforms before it takes over the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014, and to reinforce ASEAN's continued role in mediating a border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora