April 4 - ASEAN plans draft of code of conduct for the South China Sea territorial dispute by the end of 2012, express alarm of North Korea's rocket launch. Arnold Gay reports.
NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4 BY 3 MATERIAL The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is planning to draft a code of conduct for the South China Sea territorial dispute by the end of the year. Philippine foreign affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario says only ASEAN members will be involved in the draft. But Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa says contacts with China will be maintained during the drafting process. (SOUNDBITE)(English) INDONESIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MARTY NATALEGAWA SAYING: "There will be constant communication through the ASEAN-CHINA framework so that whatever final position ASEAN comes up with, (it) will have benefited from having some kind of communication with China as well. " China claims parts of the sea as its own, drawing the anger of countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. Beijing prefers to negotiate the dispute bilaterally, but other claimants prefer a regional or international approach. The U.S. wants the waters to remain free and open to navigation. ASEAN also expressed concern about North Korea's satellite launch. The trajectory of Pyongyang's rocket is expected to be over parts of Southeast Asia, causing alarm in the region. Del Rosario says the Philippines wants the international community to keep the pressure on Pyongyang. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILIPPINES SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALBERT DEL ROSARIO SAYING: "It's creating a lot of tension, especially since the launch could fall on Philippine territory and we are calling for a concerted international action to persuade North Korea not to proceed with the launch. " The Philippines is planning a no-fly zone during the launch period, while Japan is deploying interceptor missiles to protect its territory Arnold Gay, Reuters