Welcome boost from China to global pressure on North Korea

Rex Tillerson expected to press Asian Countries on North Korean threat

Rex Tillerson expected to press Asian Countries on North Korean threat

The UN Security Council on Saturday imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.

"Moreover, I will tell him that to build a peace system - North Korea must respond to the two proposals we recently suggested", he told reporters in Manila on Saturday.

"We will be monitoring that carefully and certainly having conversations with any and all that we see who may not be fully embracing not just the spirit of those sanctions but the operational execution of those sanctions", Tillerson said.

China and Russian Federation went along, but urged the USA and South Korea to scale back joint military exercises and a missile defense program that have raised the ire of North Korea.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho made similar comments during an annual regional security conference in Manila on Monday.

Last week, Mr Tillerson said North Korea needed to cease both its missile launches and nuclear weapons tests for talks to begin.

The current participants in the ARF are all ASEAN members, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, East Timor, the United States, and Sri Lanka. He said the North could still carry out further missile tests or a sixth atomic bomb test in the coming months under its broader weapons development timetable. The document implies prohibition of imports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead and seafood from the Asian nation by the UN member states. Tillerson says he and the South Korean diplomat plan to discuss the sanctions during their meeting, along with next steps to pressure the North. He also said any dialogue would deal with how North Korea can "feel secure and prosper economically".

All 10 countries in ASEAN have diplomatic relations with North Korea, including five that have embassies in Pyongyang.

South Korea gains support from participating countries for President Moon's Berlin visionThe 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila came to a close on August 8.

Though Beijing repeated its call for the United States and North Korea to resume talks, the USA said that was still premature, and rejected yet again a Chinese call for the U.S.to freeze joint military exercises with South Korea in exchange for the North halting nuclear development.

Yet despite deeming North Korea a top security threat, the young Trump administration has struggled to find a strategy that differs significantly from what the USA has tried in the past.

China, however, is easily North Korea's biggest trading partner and economic benefactor, and helped design the sanctions package.

Tillerson said Washington would not "specify a specific number of days or weeks" before deciding that North Korea had indeed stopped its tests.

The meeting comes as the US and Asian nations join together to try to step up Pyongyang's economic and diplomatic isolation.