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The annual ASEAN Regional Forum was held on Friday in Honoi, Vietnam, with participants calling for strengthening security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The forum brought together foreign ministers or representatives of 27 Forum members. Friday also marked the conclusion of the five-day ASEAN serial, ministerial meetings.
The final day of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting and a day that saw the incorporation of nations well beyond South east Asia The ARF, or ASEAN regional forum, saw the inclusion of India, the United States and Russia amongst others, taking part in the day's discussions.
And as the delegates arrived, it was handshakes and smiles for the cameras. The week long meeting seems to have made progress on areas related to Trade, Energy and environmental protection.
It was also a chance for important bilateral meetings.
Here, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
ASEAN’s economic importance, and pre-existing trading agreements with other regional powers like China has attracted the attendance of the US and EU.
And once again attention focused on the DPRK. Their presence, along with representatives of all nations involved in the six party talks, has attracted speculation that a new round of talks might be announced. But the spokesman responded to upcoming military exercises between the US and ROK saying it was a provocative act, to which the DPRK would respond physically.
Ri Tong Il, DPRK Spokesman, said, "There will be physical response against the threat imposed by the United States militarily. It is no longer the 19th century which is maintained the gunboat diplomacy at that time, it is a new century and the Asian countries are in need of peace and development and DPRK is also moving to that end."
Hilary Clinton spoke later in the day. Her response was somewhat muted and she chose her words carefully. Nonetheless she said military exercises would go ahead as planned, and the resumption of six party talks looked unlikely.
The 27 members of the asean regional form have now dispersed having reached general consensus on the Hanoi plan of action for regional peace and stability. Unfortunately however, little progress on easing tensions in the Korean peninsula, but at least ASEAN managed to get all the parties involved to sit down and talk.