U.S. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson said that the decision to reduce the number of staff of the us diplomatic mission in Russian Federation will complicate the relations between Moscow and Washington. However, given the potential for massive casualties from North Korean retaliation in allied South Korea and Japan and among United States troops there, it has stressed the need for a diplomatic solution.
He was unable to show that the US has fulfilled President Donald Trump's objective of a new, more cooperative relationship between the former Cold War foes, noting only modest efforts in Syria as a sign the nations share some common goals.
"Noting that these developments threaten peace and stability in the region, we urged the DPRK to fully and immediately comply with its obligations under the relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions" banning Pyongyang from conducting nuclear and missile activities, the draft statement says. "We were clear that we didn't think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that's the decision they made, they made it in a very overwhelming way".
In December, the Obama administration seized two Russian government compounds - in NY and Maryland - and ejected 35 Russian diplomats for interfering in the USA election, spying and harassment of US diplomats.
Despite his displeasure with the sanctions, Tillerson said of the president, "all indications are he will sign that bill".
The bill which was approved overwhelmingly in both chambers, by a margin of 98-2 with strong support from Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, a feat that seemed impossible with the embattled health care legistlation bill.
The U.S. Congress voted last week by overwhelming margins for sanctions to punish the Russian government over interference in the 2016 presidential election and its annexation of Crimea.
"We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel", Tillerson said.
She added that Tillerson's travel reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to further broaden and enhance its economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
"In terms of their response to that action, I think it's important to recognize that any leader of any country has their whole population watching them as well". Tillerson said he plans to meet Lavrov on the sidelines of a regional summit in Manila, Philippines.
Tillerson was asked to respond to criticism that the State Department has suffered from low morale and personnel issues since shortly after he was sworn in as secretary in February.