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Within Hours of Sanctions, North Korea Hardens Nuclear Stance

Within Hours of Sanctions, North Korea Hardens Nuclear Stance Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

Our CBN News Asia correspondent Lucille Talusan

joins us via Skype from Manila.

Lucile, this was the 50th anniversary event for ASEAN,

the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

And I know economic and trade issues were on the agenda,

but North Korea dominated those meetings.

What was the concern expressed by the ASEAN countries?

During their speeches, they expressed their concern

over the escalating tension on the Korean peninsula.

So it really affects them as well, not just

Japan and South Korea?

Oh yes, they're calling on the denuclearization of North

Korea and the Korean peninsula.

Now, Lucile, those ASEAN meetings

are usually attended by the 10 Southeast Asian member states.

But I know this one, the 50th anniversary,

was called 10 plus 3.

And of course, the plus 3, Russia, China,

the United States.

How important was it to have US Secretary of State Tillerson

there?

It really showed that the United States

is really interested in the issues happening, the problems

that are happening in the region, in the Asia Pacific.

And particularly with the escalating threat, the growing

threat of terrorism, and also about the disputed territories

in the South China Sea.

Well, I want to talk to you about those disputed

territories in a minute.

But China seemed to play a big role

with some very strong statements about North Korea.

What did the Chinese Foreign Minister say?

Well Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a closed door meeting

with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri.

And Wang Yi was telling North Korean Minister

to obey and to abide by the rules being given by the United

Nations, and for them to stop developing their missiles

and stop launching missile testing.

So maybe President Trump is finally

getting out of the Chinese what he's looking for,

them putting pressure on North Korea.

In addition to that UN boat imposing sanctions.

And Chinese Foreign Minister Yang--

Wang Yi, told Tillerson and the ASEAN member

states of the South China Sea situation has stabilized.

That China and its neighbors are now

working out territorial differences through dialogue.

Is that true, Lucille?

And are ASEAN members now accepting

Chinese dominance there, and its construction of new islands?

I think it's contrary to what the communique stated.

And they're calling for the militarization of the area,

and that is what China is doing.

That's not really what is happening,

what Wang Yi was saying.

Lucille, Tillerson seemed pleased

with China's position supporting the economic sanctions

against North Korea.

And China wants to see a return to six party talks.

China is advancing a concept now called double suspension.

So what is double suspension, and how

likely is it that talks with North Korea

will eventually resume?

Yes.

Well Wang Yi was suggesting for double suspension,

meaning suspension of US military exercises

in South Korea, and suspension of the North Korea

launching of missiles, of ballistic missiles.

Well, Tillerson, I know, also met

with your president, Philippine President Duterte,

and expressed his willingness to cooperate and help

your country with its fight against ISIS terrorists

in southern Philippines.

And I know you were down there not too long ago in Mindanao.

Yes.

What might happen there?

How will the US help?

Recently the Pentagon is suggesting

that they can launch airstrikes in the Philippines.

The US will be not only helping in terms

of sharing intelligence and training,

but they themselves will launch the airstrikes

against the ISIS--

well at first we call them ISIS linked, the multi group.

But now I'm surprised that we are already

referring to them as ISIS.

So the problem there is really very serious.

And this is the third month, Gary, of the battle in Marawi.

Well-- well do you think this will actually happen?

Will-- I know Duterte has had some issues

with the United States, and also with President Trump.

So, do you actually think that these airstrikes, US

airstrikes, will take place?

Um.

I believe so.

Because the Philippine military is

one of the weakest in Southeast Asia.

So I, I believe that, you know, it could happen.

Yeah.

OK well we'll wait and see on that.

And I can't let you go, Lucille, without asking

about Secretary Tillerson's visit

to the US military cemetery in Manila.

Now, he placed a wreath in honor of America's fallen soldiers

from World War II.

How significant, and important, was that visit, Lucille,

for both our country, and for the people of the Philippines?

Well, it's very significant.

There are around-- more than 17,000 headstones

in that cemetery, and headstones of American soldiers who died.

And 36-- around 36,000 missing.

And so, it's really very significant

and it just shows how Americans would really fight for freedom

and how Americans fought for the freedom of the Philippines.

And, actually, Gary in the guest book Secretary Tillerson wrote,

"let us never forget freedom."

And this is very indicative that--

of what the Americans, or the US, is willing to do.

The Americans are willing to die for freedom.

And it shows a close relationship

with the Philippines, does it not,

that we've had for many, many years.

Yes.

Lucille Talusan, our correspondent in Manila.

Thank you for joining us.

Thank you, Gary.

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