Foreign ministers from Asia-Pacific countries are having difficulties issuing a unified statement about North Korea’s tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
According to Fox News, diplomatic sources said Sunday that Washington had hoped the region’s countries, including members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), would issue a joint communiqué after their annual gathering in Manila.
But Cambodia was concerned its views weren’t adequately reflected in the statement being developed, causing a delay, a diplomat said.
The obstacle came one day after the U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea in the wake of the communist nation’s first successful tests of ICBMs capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday urged his North Korean counterpart to abide by U.N. resolutions and stop provoking “the international community’s goodwill” with missile launches and nuclear tests.
Wang spoke to reporters in Manila after meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting.
Wang said the two had an intensive conversation during which China urged North Korea to maintain calm.
He said he told Ri, “Do not violate the U.N. decision or provoke the international community’s goodwill by conducting missile launches or nuclear tests.”
Wang also urged the U.S. and South Korea “to stop increasing tensions” and said that all sides should return to negotiations.
The sanctions resolution approved Saturday bans North Korean exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood.
The resources accruing from the sales are worth over $1 billion to the regime of Kim Jong Un. North Korea exported an estimated $3 billion worth of goods last year.
Read more: Fox News