US Hosting ASEAN Foreign Ministers to Discuss North Korea ThreatWorld | May 4, 2017, Thursday // 15:18| views
The United States is bringing its Southeast Asian allies on board to tackle what senior officials described as the number one national security priority for the U.S. — North Korea's nuclear proliferation and missile threats — when foreign ministers from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gather Thursday in Washington, Voice of America reported.
A senior State Department official told VOA that Washington is urging Southeast Asian countries to "cut diplomatic ties" with Pyongyang.
Another official told VOA that while there has been some success regarding the "increased inspections to disrupt North Korea's illicit activities," more could be done.
"Throughout Asia, we've got a lot of work do with ASEAN nations," said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his remarks to State Department employees Wednesday, adding that Washington is "re-solidifying" its "leadership with ASEAN on a number of security issues."
Tillerson is hosting foreign ministers from ASEAN on Thursday at the State Department, which comes just days after top diplomats from those countries met in Manila and issued a statement that criticized North Korea's provocation.
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