Kerry to urge Asean to launch talks to ease South China Sea disputes: US official

US Secretary of State John Kerry holds a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2016.
US Secretary of State John Kerry holds a press conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS)- United States Secretary of State John Kerry will urge Southeast Asian nations in meetings in Laos next week to find diplomatic ways to launch talks on easing tension over the South China Sea following an international court ruling that denies China's claims in the sea.

"The Secretary will reinforce our hope that... the parties will now turn to constructively engaging in a effort to find diplomatic ways to peacefully interact in the South China Sea," a senior US official said before a meeting of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) in Laos' capital Vientiane on Sunday (July 24).