Tillerson meets Philippine President Duterte


Southeast Asian countries participating in the forum had earlier issued a statement, expressing concern about North Korea's test of what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"We support initiatives to improve inter-Korean relations towards establishing permanent peace in the Korean Peninsula", their statement said.

Congratulating ASEAN on its 50th Anniversary, the ministers noted the central role ASEAN has played in the development of the Asia-Pacific regional architecture and its contribution to the region's stability and prosperity.

"We hope again that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to a conclusion to choose a different pathway, and when the conditions are right that we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so that they feel secure and prosper economically", he told reporters.

A more direct warning was aimed at the United States in a government statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency. The association's statement however implied that North Korea should remain in the regional forum, effectively rejecting Washington's call to isolate Pyongyang.

"Singapore is not in a position to tell other countries what to do in regards to their sovereignty but I think we can expect Singapore to take a very robust approach to dealings with China in its capacity as the ASEAN chair".

Tillerson is offering his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the US has for talks with Pyongyang. "Foreign ministers want to give ASEAN a strong voice on this issue".

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Julie Bishop, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Taro Kono, and the Secretary of State of the United States, Rex Tillerson, met in Manila, the Philippines, on August 7, 2017, for the seventh ministerial meeting of the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD). All countries are now banned from importing North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood products, and from letting in more North Korean laborers whose remittances help fund Kim Jong Un's regime.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi cancelled a scheduled one-on-one meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart in Manila at the last minute on Monday due to a spat over the South China Sea, according to people familiar with the situation.

China pushed for a maritime code of conduct with Southeast Asian countries that would not be legally binding, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday.

In the coming ASEAN meetings, this issue may well occupy much of the foreign ministers' attention. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been roundly criticized for a bloody way on illegal drugs that has killed thousands of suspects. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called for a favorable response from Pyongyang to President Moon Jae-in's follow-up measures for his "Berlin vision", while her North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho questioned the sincerity of Moon's "offers". The two proposals in question are the Moon administration's proposals to North Korea last month that the two sides hold military authority and Red Cross talks as follow-up measures for its Berlin vision.