Tillerson to visit Southeast Asia

Tillerson to travel to Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia: State Dept

Tillerson will then travel to Thailand to pay his respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and discuss regional issues and the US-Thai partnership.

Mr Tillerson is intimately familiar with Thailand.

In Manila, Mr Tillerson will attend a series of foreign ministerial meetings involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and other regional powers at which North Korea's weapons programs and China's militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea are likely to top the agenda.

The two statesmen agreed to talk on the sidelines of an ASEAN regional security summit scheduled for August 6-8 in Manila, the ministry said.

Thornton's remarks contrasted with those of U.S. President Donald Trump, who on Saturday accused Beijing of doing "nothing" to help on North Korea and pointed to the huge U.S. trade deficit with China.




Thornton declined to comment on any possible action but stressed that despite Trump's tweets, North Korea and the trade issue were not linked in a "transactional", but "in a sort of philosophical way".

"Secretary Tillerson's travel reaffirms the Administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance US economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region", the State Department said.

The Russian foreign minister discussed with his USA counterpart the situation on the Korean Peninsula in light of the latest North Korean missile test.

"The interlocutors exchanged assessments of developments on the Korean Peninsula in the context of the UN Security Council's forthcoming reaction to the ballistic missile launch that Pyongyang effecturated on July 28", the ministry's report said.

He will also visit Kuala Lumpur to discuss with officials there ways to strengthen cooperation on a range of issues in the 60th year of US-Malaysia bilateral relations.

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