ASEAN states urge N Korea to comply with all intl. obligations

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China has reacted angrily to the members, who expressed their concern about its rapid reclamation of reefs in the Spratly archipelago and its installation of missile systems on them.

According to some experts, China is now capable of deploying combat aircraft on several of its man-made features.

In a Chairman's Statement released Sunday, ASEAN leaders said the completion of framework will facilitate the early conclusion of an "effective COC".

Beijing has quietly eased that, in response to Duterte's request to allow Filipinos to fish there again.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suggested Saturday to his American counterpart to back out from an intensifying standoff with North Korea not in surrender but to avoid risking a nuclear "holocaust" that could affect Asia immensely.

"This reflects the Cambodianisation of Philippine foreign policy".

That Philippines government in 2013 challenged Beijing by lodging a case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2013. "President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely, '" proposed Duterte, who previously appeared to pivot away from his country's long-standing alliance with the USA in favor of closer ties with China.

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As part of his engagement with China, Duterte has decided not to press it to abide by the arbitration award anytime soon.

"Most of those statements related to such sensitive issues like the South China Sea tend to be very general and wouldn't go down to specifics, even including highlighting any particular country as singled out for some kind of reprimand in the statement", Koh said.

The worldwide court has ruled in favor pf the Philippines as it invalidated China's "historic rights" to the disputed South China Sea.

China, through its ambassador to Manila, had this week been heavily lobbying Duterte to weaken it further, delegates and diplomats said.

He also stressed the need to aim for a drug-free Asean.

They also "took note of the serious concerns expressed by some Leaders over recent developments and escalation of activities in the area, which may further raise tensions and erode trust and confidence in the region".

He said various security issues "test (the regional bloc's) resolve to promote peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region".

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The leaders also reiterated their support for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and "for the concerned parties to exercise restraint in order to maintain peace and stability" in the region.

"We exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest and concern".

Southeast Asian leaders ended their annual summit in Manila on Saturday without any sign that host Philippines raised its crucial arbitration victory against China over disputed South China Sea territories.

Diplomatic sources said China's stance was resisted by some ASEAN members, including Vietnam and Indonesia, a non-claimant in the South China Sea but has been pestered by Chinese fishermen's encroachment in its waters.

The final communique instead mentioned commitment to "universally recognized principles of global law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)". Just less than a year in power, Duterte faces a mass murder complaint before the International Criminal Court and an impeachment bid at home as bodies continue to pile up in his war on illegal drugs.

But ASEAN can not antagonize China too much.

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