Tillerson supports China and ASEAN in North Korea in Manila
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will support China and other Asian countries to take tougher action against North Korea by attending regional meetings in Manila this week, a senior US official said on Wednesday. .
Susan Thornton, Under-Secretary of State for East Asia, said Tillerson would have the opportunity to meet with the South Asian Association’s Minister for Chinese Affairs. It was in Manila, but he did not intend to meet with the Foreign Minister of North Korea.
Thornton said Tillerson, who arrived in Manila on Saturday, will seek further cooperation to isolate North Korea and impose sanctions on the United States. He said Washington wanted the country to reduce “dramatically” deals with Pyongyang.
“What we are trying to do is push that pressure and isolate North Korea so it can see the opportunity costs of developing these weapons programs,” journalists said. a conference call to preview Tillerson’s travels.
Thornton said China had made “significant strides … frankly unprecedented measures” to increase pressure on North Korea, but could do “much more” to strengthen the implementation of existing sanctions and impose more.
“We would like to see faster actions and more obvious and fast results, but I do not think we’re going to do it yet.”
Thornton’s remarks contrast with those of US President Donald Trump, who accused Beijing on Saturday of doing nothing to help North Korea and highlighted the US’s huge trade deficit with China.
The former administration official Trump said Tuesday that Trump was close to a decision on how to respond to what he considered unfair trade practices in China and taking into account measures that could lead to tariffs or other restrictions on trade in Chinese goods.
Thornton declined to comment on any possible action, but stressed that, despite Trump’s tweets, North Korea and trade problems were not tied to a “transactional”, but “philosophically.”
“If we can work together to do this, we could certainly have a productive economic relationship,” he said, “if we can work together to do this, and mutually beneficial in which we benefit both from reciprocal and equitable access to each other’s markets.”
Thornton said Tillerson continues to pressure China on the South China Sea issue, while in Asia the United States has insisted on rapidly adopting a code of conduct on territorial competition.
He said that the United States “undoubtedly” human rights with the government of Philippine President Duterte.
Criticism of the bloody US war on drugs Duterte, predecessor Trump, Barack Obama, has damaged long-term allied relations. Duterte remained defiant, accusing critics of “trivializing” his campaign against drugs with human rights concerns.