Philippines Want North Korea in Regional Forum Against US Wishes

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South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa to have 15 official bilateral meetings, including with JapanThe meeting of foreign ministers at the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which is being held in Manila from August 6 to 8, will be the first multilateral diplomatic gathering since North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was expected to galvanize condemnation of North Korea in the hopes of further isolating Pyongyang during the ARF meeting in Manila, said Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Emphasizing that the North's nuclear and missile programs are a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Thornton said the USA will have a serious discussion with other ARF members on whether to suspend the North's membership.

The regional forum in Manila, hosted by ASEAN, brings together the top diplomats from 26 countries and the European Union for talks on political and security issues in Asia Pacific.

Malaysia is now the country coordinator for the Asean-U.S. Dialogue Relations for the 2015 to 2018, period.

Pentagon officials said the test presented the biggest potential threat yet as it demonstrated the North's possession of technology that could put the U.S. mainland in range of its rockets.

The DPRK is attending the ARF on Monday, which is a forum for security in Asia established in 1994.

This year's ARF comes amid heightened concerns and uncertainty over the North's nuclear and missile programs.


Recently, Pyongyang tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which flew for about 45 minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.

It feeds into the fear especially in the United States that the North is one step closer to mastering missiles capable of hitting its mainland with a nuclear warhead small enough to be mounted on them. "I think what we would expect to see this year at the meeting would be a general chorus of condemnation of North Korea's provocative behavior and pretty serious diplomatic isolation directed at the North Korean foreign minister".

Here are the latest threats, live updates and breaking news on Kim Jong-un's North Korea versus Donald Trump's America.

South Korea will likely focus on making its stance on the North Korea issue reflected in a chairman's statement to be issued following the ARF.

North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have caused rising concern around the world.

The Foreign Minister will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the 10 member regional bloc as well as dialogue partners to discuss and strengthen cooperation on strategic issues of common concern.

Cayetano said the Philippines "strongly communicated" ASEAN's stand on the Korean Peninsula conflict "but we also listened". But the State Department later said that there will be no such event.

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