MANILA — The meeting of foreign ministers of the 10-member state ASEAN and Japan here over the weekend discussed critical regional issues such as situations on Korean Peninsula and South China Sea, said Japanese Foreign Ministry Deputy Press Secretary Toshihide Ando.
In a press briefing Sunday evening, Ando mentioned that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and ASEAN country coordinator Brunei Darussalam, through its Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lim Jock Seng, “agreed to strengthen pressure on North Korea”.
He added that “now is not the time for dialogue, but the time to increase the pressure on North Korea” in order for the Democratic People’s Republic of (DPRK) to take actions leading to denuclearization.
On Saturday, ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement expressing ASEAN’s grave concern over the situation in the Korean Peninsual.
ASEAN’s top diplomats urged DPRK for immediate and full compliance with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
Moreover, Ando told reporters that Japan is concerned with the building of large scale outpost within the South China Sea.
He said Japan took note of the adoption of the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC) in South China Sea by ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers.
He added that Japan hopes for a legally binding COC.
“We expect that discussions will proceed in accordance with international law and on the premise that no nuclearization and self-restraint will be maintained. I hope that legally binding and effective COC will be finalized,” Ando noted. PNA-northboundasia.com