Tension is mounting between the US and North Korea.
In Hanoi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Asia to get tough on Pyongyang by vigorously applying UN sanctions. Kim Jong Il’s regime has hit back.
It comes amid a call for dialogue from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ summit.
“What we want to see is a peaceful solution and, of course, I think this can only be achieved if you sit down and talk together,” said Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman. “I don’t think we can achieve this in a military formula so the best format is still to return to the Six Party talks.”
But actions not words are dominating the agenda. The US has unveiled fresh sanctions against the North and is about to hold large-scale military drills with South Korea. Pyongyang has promised a “physical response.”
Its nuclear programme and the fallout from the sinking of a South Korean warship, widely blamed on the North, have been key issues at the forum.