Tillerson in Thailand to talk about North Korea ties

0
434
views
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) shakes hands with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (R) during a meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, August 8, 2017. REUTERS/Rungroj Yongrit/Pool

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Bangkok on Tuesday with a plea to the kingdom to curb business ties with North Korea, as Washington rounds up allies for its bid to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
Tillerson is the highest level American diplomat to visit Thailand since a 2014 coup strained ties between the longtime friends and saw China cosy up to Bangkok with massive military sales and infrastructure deals.
Thailand is one of a raft of Southeast Asian countries that hosts a North Korean embassy and enjoys valuable bilateral trade with the reclusive regime.
In 2014 the two countries shared trade worth $126 million, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nearly a three-fold increase since 2009.
America’s top diplomat will press Thailand to crack down on North Korean firms that open fronts in Bangkok and use the capital as a trading hub, said acting US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs Susan Thornton.
He will also lean on the kingdom to tighten visa requirements for North Koreans entering Thailand and squeeze its diplomatic mission, Thornton added.
Tillerson’s one-day visit follows a regional forum in Manila, where the former ExxonMobil CEO hailed a tough new UN sanctions regime on North Korea over its growing nuclear arsenal.
Those sanctions could cost North Korea $1 billion a year.
They were levied with the agreement of North Korean lifeline China in response to the launch of two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.