Russia's Lavrov, US's Tillerson to meet August 6-8: Russian foreign ministry

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC US Jun 13 2017. Reuters

Rex Tillerson to visit Southeast Asia

In talks with Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and other officials, he is expected to stress the "enduring" US-Thailand partnership and regional issues, according to the department. As a rising executive on his way to become chief of Exxonmobil, he was president of Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc.

A US State Department statement said Tillerson's visit here was to discuss ways to strengthen US- Malaysia ties.

From Saturday to Aug 9, the US Secretary of State will be in the Philippines, then Thailand and Malaysia.

The two statesmen agreed to talk on the sidelines of an ASEAN regional security summit scheduled for August 6-8 in Manila, the ministry said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said that as many as 90 per cent of North Korea's economy is still flowing through China, so Beijing has more leverage on North Korea than any other country.

Thornton declined to comment on any possible action but stressed that despite Trump's tweets, North Korea and the trade issue were not linked in a "transactional", but "in a sort of philosophical way".

"Secretary Tillerson's travel reaffirms the administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance USA economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region", the statement said.

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. -Thai relationship with officials there.

The foreign minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will also attend the Asean Regional Forum.

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