Sea dispute, N. Korea, Muslim militants top ASEAN meetings

MANILA, Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Alarm over North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile tests, an attempt to temper South China Sea disputes and unease over a siege by pro-Islamic State group militants will grab the spotlight in an annual gathering of Southeast Asia’s top diplomats with their Asian and Western counterparts.

The 27 nations deploying their foreign ministers for three days of talks in Manila starting Saturday include the main protagonists led by the U.S., Russia, China, Japan and the two Koreas.

The Philippines is the host as this year’s chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It’s an unwieldy 10-nation collective of democracies, monarchies and authoritarian regimes, which prides itself for being a bulwark of diplomacy in a region scarred by a history of wars and interminable conflicts.

Categories: International News