March 20, 2018

US Secretary of State Tillerson arrives in Thailand

10 August 2017, 07:52 | Winifred Adams

UPDATE: Thailand Pledges Adherence To Sanctions Imposed On North Korea

Thais hope to get off Trump's trade hit list

The main goal of Tillerson's trip has been to galvanize diplomatic and political forces against North Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Thailand and Malaysia to dismantle North Korea's commercial operations and detain the country's operatives during pit-stop visits to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the State Department's East Asia Bureau said Mr Tillerson, who will be the most senior USA official to visit Thailand since a 2014 coup, will discuss a broad range of issues including security, trade and investment.

Thailand has always been one of Washington's closest regional allies, but relations have been strained over USA criticism of Thailand's military government for its repression of critics and failure to restore democracy.

"Thailand are friends with both the United States and North Korea".

Up to 94% of trade volume between Thailand and North Korea has been cut from previous year, Don said.

According to the diplomacy of thailand, Bangkok is the third most important trading partner for North korea after Beijing and Seoul: the trade between the two countries were more than one hundred million euros in 2014.

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Numerous North Korean companies use Bangkok as a commercial hub, and the US wants that to stop as part of global sanctions aimed at choking Pyongyang economically.

"No one here would say that we're pleased by the fact that we don't have more of our undersecretary and assistant secretary slots filled, but we're working hard to do that", Sullivan told reporters. Tillerson then met with USA embassy staff before heading to Washington.

Mr Tillerson's visit to Thailand and Malaysia came only days after the United Nations Security Council passed its toughest sanctions yet against Pyongyang over the country's ballistic missile and nuclear program.

"Regarding the situation on the Korean peninsula, Thailand is ready to cooperate and provide assistance", has, however, assured the spokesman of the junta, Werachon Sukhondapatipak.

Rex Tillerson, who has frequently visited in Thailand at the time, he was director of ExxonMobil, told the staff of the american embassy in Bangkok that it was "developing" the relationship with the old ally, the historical background of the United States during the Vietnam war. This is just part of the larger relationship.

Analysts see the trip as a signal of improved US-Thailand relations under US President Donald Trump's administration, following a previous downgrade of diplomatic and military relations in protest of the military regime. And no date of election has been given.

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