US, Australia, Japan want coercive acts at sea to be stopped

US, Australia, Japan want coercive acts at sea to be stopped

Last week Mr Tillerson said the U.S. wasn't interested in regime change in North Korea, a statement welcomed by China, which appears to have stepped up its pressure on North Korea since the United States threatened to spark a trade dispute with China last week.

Tillerson, Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono "condemned in the strongest terms North Korea's unlawful pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme and unprecedented ballistic missile activity since previous year".

A North Korean government photograph of what it says was the launch of a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile in July.

Tillerson also met Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and was to see Wang later, seeking to intensify Kim Jong-Un's diplomatic isolation and reduce the risk of renewed conflict.

On Sunday, Tillerson held separate talks in Manila with foreign ministers Wang Yi of China and Sergei Lavrov of Russian Federation, both of whom he said were in support of a tough stance on Pyongyang's arsenal.

Wang spoke to reporters in Manila after meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of a regional meeting after the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions to punish Pyongyang for its escalating nuclear and missile programs.

The ASEAN countries should not be used as a loophole of worldwide sanctions against North Korea, he also said. So if these are properly implemented by the customer countries, such as China, the sanctions could slash North Korea's annual export revenue by about a billion dollars, and that's a third of its annual exports.

The hermit kingdom's state TV sent a warning to the United States of America after the UN passed a new round of sanctions.




But he would not set a timeframe on when this might be possible or how long North Korea might have to refrain from testing more long-rang missiles.

He made the remarks at the ASEAN Regional Forum.

North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said Seoul's proposals lack sincerity when South Korea is imposing sanctions on the North with the U.S., the official added.

South Korea's Kang Kyung-wha asked the North to swiftly respond to the South's proposals to improve ties, the official said of the meeting.

The two diplomats are among 27 nations gathered for a forum conducted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Tillerson also praised the United Nations Security Council vote that passed sweeping new sanctions Saturday as a sign that the "entire global community" is united in its opposition to North Korea's provocations.

But Yonhap reported that Mr Ri retorted: "Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the USA to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity".

Ms Kang urged her northern counterpart to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

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