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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid