ASEAN, South Korea call for peaceful resolution of disputes in South China Sea
President Rodrigo Duterte and other Southeast Asian and South Korean leaders have adopted a statement calling for a peaceful resolution of the disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with international law.
A Malacanang statement on Tuesday said this was contained in the co-chairs Statement which was agreed upon during the two-day ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit held in Busan.
"The Leaders of ASEAN and ROK adopted the Co-Chairs Statement, where they called for the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes, in accordance with international law including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)," the Palace statement said.
It said that the ASEAN and South Korean leaders underscored the importance of "non-militarization and self-restraint by claimants and all other states."
ASEAN countries, such as the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Vietnam, as well as China and Taiwan, have been engaged in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
China has been aggressive in claiming almost the entire South China Sea, including those areas within the exclusive economic zones of other claimants.
In a special retreat session on the Korean Peninsula issue, Malacanang said Duterte stressed that there is no military solution to a fraternal conflict.
It quoted Duterte as saying that only dialogue, based on mutual trust and respect, can lead to "a Korea at peace with itself and without nuclear weapons."
Duterte and his counterparts in ASEAN also welcomed South Korean President Moon Jae-in's "New Southern Policy," which aims to elevate ASEAN-ROK dialogue partnership through enhanced bilateral relations with ASEAN countries and stronger South Korean involvement in ASEAN-led regional mechanisms.
During the summit, the leaders also adopted the Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership, which will serve as blueprint for the next 30 years of dialogue relations.
Meanwhile, during Duterte's bilateral meeting with Moon at the sidelines of the summit on Monday, he invited the South Korean leader to undertake a state visit to the Philippines at the soonest mutually convenient opportunity.
Duterte returned to Manila on Tuesday night from Busan. He arrived at 6:17pm at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Celerina Monte/DMS