Newspaper: UN imposes fresh sanctions on North Korea

Southeast Asian nations body repeats North Korea stance

"For the South China Sea, Cambodia's stance is not to take the side of any party".

The statement ASEAN ended up releasing merely expressed concern over "land reclamations and activities" in the area that have "eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region".

The Chinese minister appears to have warned against Japan and the United States opposing China's moves to build military facilities in the South China Sea, sources familiar with the situation said.

OUTSIDE SUPPORT In its defiance of China, Vietnam found support from the foreign ministers of the U.S., Japan and Australia, who also attended the ASEAN forum. As in past criticisms, they did not cite China by name.

He said later that China was protesting against a joint statement issued by the US, Australia and Japan calling for a halt to land reclamation and military action in the South China Sea and its compliance with an global arbitration panel that ruled against most of China's claims to the waters.

But the Asian giant had always been perceived as delaying negotiations with Asean for the maritime code to allow it to complete its land reclamations in the South China Sea without any regulatory restrictions.

It seems, however, that Vietnam nearly put a spanner in the works by attempting to push its own agenda during the meeting of Asean foreign ministers.

MANILA-In their first bilateral meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized his new Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, for not being like his father, a former political heavyweight who placed importance on improving relations with Asian countries. "In due time, China dropped that and said, "Let's approve the framework and let's go now to the COC", Mr Cayetano told reporters.

This was followed by the call for a "Code of Conduct for the South China Sea", which was given its own acronym, "COC".

All parties say the framework is only an outline for how the code will be established but critics say the failure to outline as an initial objective the need to make the code legally binding and enforceable, or have a dispute resolution mechanism, raises doubts about how effective the pact will be.

Beijing claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to hold a wealth of untapped oil and gas deposits.

Vietnam, which has long pursued the most determined defence of its territorial claims, had argued that any agreement would be meaningless unless it were legally binding.

North Korea is not a dialogue partner of the Asean but is part of the Asean Regional Forum, which include Russia, Japan, the United States, China and South Korea.

"As being chair, our main task was to produce a joint communiqué that all Asean members would sign regardless of differences in position", Abella told a press conference.