October 25, 2017 11:38
The U.S., South Korea and Japan on Monday called on China to respect territorial rights in the South China Sea.
The defense ministers of the three nations met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian nations' defense ministers meeting in the Philippines to discuss the North Korean nuclear threat and South China Sea disputes.
In a joint statement they "reaffirmed that freedom of navigation and overflight must be ensured, and that all disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law."
These terms have been used by the U.S. to warn China against laying claim to islands in the South China Sea, but South Korea had so far stayed out of the debate.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Song Young-moo met with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan and discussed the U.S. deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in South Korea, which has incensed China and triggered an unofficial boycott there.
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