Photo of Vivian Balakrisnan, Kim Jong Un and Ong Ye Kung from Facebook

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s earlier S$20 million sponsorship for hosting the Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting has just been washed down the drain with North Korea openly hitting out at the United States at the ASEAN meeting last Saturday (Aug 4).

North Korea Foreign Minister condemned the US for worsening diplomatic ties by focusing on sanctions instead of bringing an official end to the Korean war:

“The DPRK stands firm in its determination and commitment for implementing the DPRK-US joint statement in a responsible and good-faith manner. What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old, far from its leader’s intention. North Korea had initiated goodwill measures such as the moratorium on nuclear testing and the dismantling of a nuclear site. The US is raising its voice louder for maintaining sanctions against North Korea, and show the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean peninsula instead of responding to these moves. Worse still, extremely inappropriate moves are shown of putting pressure on other countries not to send high-level delegations to the celebrations marking the 70th founding anniversary of the DPRK in September this year.”

Also criticising the US was China, which defended its new naval bases in South China Sea. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he observed that speeches made by representatives from non-regional countries like US are stirring trouble and pointing fingers, while the representatives from regional countries like Malaysia are more conciliatory and cooperative.  The senior China official advised the non-regional countries to be less judgemental and show greater understanding instead:

“Speeches delivered by foreign ministers from regional countries were all about cooperation and friendship. But non-regional countries at the East Asia Summit pointed fingers and tried to stir up trouble. This is deeply regrettable. We believe the main players in these regional countries are the best judges of what has been happening in this region. We hope that these non-regional countries can change their mindset of believing they should be the only judge of the situation in this region. We hope they will show greater understanding and support for the positive efforts made by regional countries, China and Asean included, for peace and stability.”