Tillerson to visit Southeast Asia

Marie Harrington
August 6, 2017

During the Bangkok leg of his visit, Mr Tillerson will pay respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Mr Tillerson is intimately familiar with Thailand.

He directed the ramping up of production in Thailand's first commercial natural gas field at Nam Phong district of Khon Kaen.

Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Tillerson would have the chance to engage with China's foreign minister at the meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, but had no plans to meet North Korea's foreign minister there.

The Philippines, as this year's chairman of Asean, will host the 50th Asean foreign Ministers Meeting and other related meetings.

Tillerson will also visit Thailand next Tuesday and then Malaysia.

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"They agreed to have a discussion of the prospects for collaboration on settling these problems and the current state of Russian-U.S. bilateral relations on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional security forum on August 6-8 in Manila", the ministry said.

Susan Thornton is the top US diplomat for Asia. The US, she said has been working with China on North Korea.

In Kuala Lumpur, the top U.S. diplomat will meet Malaysian officials to discuss strengthening cooperation on a range of issues in the 60th year of bilateral relations, it said.

She added that Tillerson's travel reaffirms the commitment of the U.S. to broaden and enhance USA economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

The US has sent aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean peninsula to step up pressure against North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to refrain from developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching mainland US.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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