Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Participates in ASEAN Regional Forum

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 23, 2010

Text the Secretary|Trip Page

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a press availability after participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum today in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Secretary said, "[W]e discussed a number of urgent challenges including North Korea and Burma. I encouraged our partners and allies to continue to implement fully and transparently UN Security Council Resolution 1874, and to press North Korea to live up to its international obligations. I also urged Burma to put in place the necessary conditions for credible elections including releasing all political prisoners, especially Aung San Suu Kyi, respecting basic human rights, and ceasing attacks against their ethnic minorities. And as I said in our meetings today, it is critical that Burma hear from its neighbors about the need to abide by its commitments, under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, to fulfill its IAEA safeguards obligations and complies with Resolutions 1874 and 1718.

"We also discussed a number of other important topics: climate change, trading and economic integration, democracy and human rights. And I took the opportunity along with a number of my ASEAN and ASEAN Regional Forum colleagues to set forth my government's position on an issue that implicates the security and prosperity of the region, the South China Sea.

"I'd like to briefly outline our perspective on this issue. The United States, like every nation, has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia's maritime commons, and respect for international law in the South China Sea. We share these interests not only with ASEAN members or ASEAN Regional Forum participants, but with other maritime nations and the broader international community."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.



Ohio, USA
July 24, 2010

Guy in Ohio writes:

Now that N. Korea is ratcheting up their rhetoric, maybe Obama should have been a little bit more stern when N. Korea sunk the ship from S. Korea. It seems like now we are trying to play catch-up.

New Mexico, USA
July 24, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Madam Secretary, (CC Dipnote Bloggers)

Welcome home. Hope you are well, and met with much success.

I was watching PJ Crowley give his last briefing of the week, and the question came up as to whether he had any comment on North Korea's threats to use military force against the upcoming excercise.

His one word on as a direct comment to such action as being "unwise" gets mention here because I've been collecting a few understaments from folks...Little soundbites from here and there I was planning to put together for the unofficial semi-annual "Understatement of the Year Award", a new global diplomatic initiative I've come up with to inspire you all in diplomatic circles world-wide to reach new hights of common sense.

Well, I have to make a preliminary half-way judgment call , being judge, jury, and award giver...that by my best calculations...right now it's a toss up between Joe Biden's "Delicious" experience in Bagdad, and PJ's "unwise" assesment in today's briefing.

Figure you'd appreciate the update...though I haven't yet reviewed all your considered remarks on this trip yet and I'm not counting you out by any means.

I have a wide spectrum of entries so far, and I hope to hear a "keeper" from the President soon, since in my memory I can't recall a nation blackmailing the UN security council with the threat of war, or the current number of times North Korea has threatened nuclear war with us, I'm reading their latest one right now...

Is it what? The fifth or sixth time since the first of the year?

I've actually lost count, but I believe if the threat to be disturbing, the international response is even more so.

Not for holding any military excercise, folks do that all the time in int. waters.

Nor even that we could see this coming years ago and folks sat on their thumbs about it...and if they didn't please tell me why we are having to deal with these threats?

But because folks still don't know clearly how to deal with a bully, and some consider the rhetoric "normal".

He's going to nuke you, so you're going to sanction him in return? Someone that does that needs a bullet between the eyes, not sanctions. Why is it that folks think they get to nuke something as soon as the build one?

Just because we ended a war with them as soon as we built the first ones, isn't a precedent if you intend to start one.

Like sanctions ever convinced anyone willing to terrorize folks to change their he's going to negotiate now that he's boxed himself into a house of mirrors and it's in some other world?

He's commited. You can't hold the excercises without him being unable to keep from launching something just to save face.

And we can't exactly back down or he's just blackmailed the US. That's not going to happen.

You gave the them the offer of a lifetime and they couldn't accept it even if they wanted to...the hole they just dug for themselves diplomaticly is a reactor core meltdown and it's just getting deeper.

It looks like 'lil Kim has declared war, is willing to go to war and we're prepared to give him the war he never expected to face.

I trust the contingencies in place.

I suppose one can say, "Well, that's just rhetoric."

Look, here's an idiot on the way out, and his idiot son on the way in.

Daddy Warbucks wants to teach his kid how to get what he wants in this world before he kicks the bucket. And so he's arranged a spectacular display of insanity to go out with a bang and leave a legacy that will live in infamy for eternity.

(from our perspective he hopes)

"into the minds of madmen, to return whole and deliver these findings to the sane."

Well that's just my mission statement...I hope it helps your's in this, and I hope even more that I'm completely wrong, incompetent, and my mind-reading ability without merit.

There's one slight problem...Dictators and terrorists keep proving me right over and over, and have for at least the last decade with amazing consistancy.

It's not anyone's fault in this government or previous if it be war. It only takes one to start one, bound and determined to.
Everyone has done everything they could to prevent it and are busy still.

I asked if we could send a bill to China like we did BP for creating a Frankenstien over the years if he starts war, and it may be premature to contemplate, but maybe not.

Even if folks somehow manage to keep the lid on this, that Frankenstien will get away from them one of these days.

Sooner rather than later, like by Monday morning if this keeps up I think.

Sure had all the rope 'lil kim needed to hang himself with, and the DMZ trip took him over the edge.

He was going to take a long strange trip anyway Madam Secretary, and Forest Gump was right.

Regardless of how this all works out, you've called the bully out as was necessary.



Susan C.
Florida, USA
July 26, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

I am uncertain how sanctions work. I know that we are considering even greater sanctions against North Korea, as well as, Iran. It has been my observation over the years that sanctions only make life tougher for the ordinary people, and rarely, if ever, change the "heart and mind" of the heinous leaders of these countries. Take Cuba for example. That has been fifty years of wasted energy, and time, on our part. What about the sanctions we imposed upon Iraq after Desert Storm? That REALLY didn't work and lead to a long and unnecessary war that we are still involved with. The people of North Korea are starving. I heard recently that the N.Korean government devalued all currency and confiscated everyone's "wealth". Wiping out any progress anyone had made since the 1990's. Why would we want to add to this horrific scenario? They say that the people of N. Korea are the most isolated population in the world. What can we possibly accomplish by isolating them even more. Again my question is...what do sanctions actually accomplish?

District Of Columbia, USA
July 27, 2010

Anna in Washington DC writes:

North Korea is a threat to its neighbors, the East Asia-Pacific region, and its very own people. What a terrible, terrible tragedy.

Is the United States still holding the Six Party Talks? I'm afraid the road to Pyongyang goes through Beijing. North Korea may be isolated, but there are too many who are willing to allow it to continue its behavior. We should continue to apply diplomatic pressure on North Korea, but we should not act alone in these efforts.

New Mexico, USA
July 27, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Quote of the Day

"We engage. They continue to move forward. We vote for sanctions. They continue to move forward. We try to deter, to dissuade. They continue to move forward."

--Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said there is an increasing likelihood of armed conflict with Iran given its contested nuclear program.



This might answer Susan's question...and Anna, I so want to send a bill to China for the expense of all it has required to date to maintain peace and security on the Korean peninsula, right down to the cost of the last paper clip...

I think that bill would more than cover any "debt" we owe them.

And that bill is payable immediately.

Now if they want to rack that bill into the stratosphere of unrecoverable deficit from the bill we'd send them in the aftermath of war, then they can simply wait for that to happen by doing nothing to dismantle North Korea's regime permanently and working with the UN and others to get the people fed and reunified.

Now if China saw it to be in it's own national interest to create a situation over- night in removing the aprox. 6-8 thousand people actually running things in NK, with all the oooky-spook martial arts-special forces they can come up with to do the job....and the next morning NK forces are recieving the following message from the Chinese leadership..."put down your weapons and pick up your bowls, it's chow time."

Do you think maybe they would?

NK forces arn't programmed to think of China as "the enemy", and if "Regime Replacement Therapy" is the solution to threats of nuclear war being issued by 'lil Kim's regime so often to the point folks consider this to be "normal", then I suppose we're just going to have to redefine what "normal" is, to get back to something approching that.

China stands at a moment in their history where they may gain the respect and trust as a welcomed member of the family of nations in full good understanding and Hu the hero can bask in folks thanks, or he may suffer the fate of goats for his failure to sieze opportunity in the midst of crisis.

Roman T.
California, USA
August 31, 2010

Roman T. in California writes:

"North Korea has ceased to be a Communist state having, in the 1982 revision of the constitution, formally adopted the Juche ideology: a bastardized form of Buddhist philosophy, chthonic animism and Christian social egalitarianism.""Bastardized" is always the concern is it not? Look at any religious extremist and you find underlying hostility and hatred in their very souls. Considering they are still publicly killing those that display bibles and executing Christians throughout their country I am just not clear on how any of us can say this is a bump up from a dictatorship??? It does regardless of your political science training, have a lot to do with "who" is Dictating!

And just what low education level or level of IQ would it take to come to terms that maybe just maybe the Buddha had different ideas of what his religion would someday become about here in Korea.

But don't dare accuse me of being a finger-pointer at this rather odd form of Buddhism, as the Muslim extremist are equally deranged. And the fundamentalist Christians that would go so far as to blow up an abortion clinic are hardly excused either. Perhaps pure extremism is the devils advocate.

Is balance and harmony really so far-fetched upon these religions? History says we are still as war prone today as two thousand years ago. Progress? Little! Back to Korea -- the strides towards peace are feeble at the this moment at best.


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