United States presses for more action on N.Korea

Wang Yi China’s foreign minister right has warned North Korea against launching missiles or conducting nuclear tests. Rex Tillerson US secretary of state left has said the US is not interested in toppling Kim

Bilateral trade between the two countries from January until June this year dropped to only US$900,000 from US$16.4 million in the same corresponding period last year, said Don.

BANKOK | Rex Tillerson visited Tuesday in Thailand, a first for a u.s. secretary of State since the coup of 2014, in order to try to convince Bangkok to isolate Pyongyang by putting an end to its economic activities carried out from within the kingdom.

"Thailand are friends with both the United States and North Korea".

As a member of the United Nations (UN), Thailand has been complying with the various UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on North Korea, according to the country's foreign minister, Don Pramudwinai here today.

According to United States officials, he was to press Thai leaders for more action on North Korea.

Reuters reported exclusively last week that the number of North Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand has surged in recent months.

Mr Tillerson's visit came barely three weeks after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was in Thailand.

Tillerson's top priority has been urging Southeast Asian countries to do more to cut funding streams for North Korea.

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Tillerson's discussions with Don followed from a regional meeting held in Manila from Saturday to Monday, where the USA official rallied support from the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to pressure North Korea into dropping its nuclear weapon programme.

Tillerson, the highest level U.S. official visiting Thailand since 2014, met with Prayut and his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai. The trip initially was expected in late July, but no date has been set yet.

Thailand is the US's oldest ally in Asia, with diplomatic relations dating back 184 years. In June, Thailand confirmed its purchase of four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States, which has sold the Kingdom about US$380 million worth of military equipment since the 2014 coup.

After being put on the USA list, Thailand defended itself with a 22-page justification that covered everything from its support for the United States in the Korean War to investment by U.S. companies in Thailand.

Human rights groups have voiced concern about the re-establishment of normal relations while Thailand's junta continues to crack down on critics.

US State Secretary Rex Tillerson, left, is greeted by Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano in Manila, Philippines.

Tillerson met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday, when bilateral relations, trade matters, terrorism and global issues were the focus of discussions, Bernama reported.

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