Tillerson says Asia allies ‘critical’ for addressing NKorea

TOKYO (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says cooperation with allies Japan and South Korea is “critical” to addressing the threat from North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Tillerson was speaking as he met Thursday with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (foo-MEE-oh kih-SHEE-dah) on his first trip to Asia as the top U.S. diplomat.

North Korea is expected to top the agenda at Tillerson’s talks. Last week, North Korea test-fired four missiles that landed in the ocean off Japan.

Tillerson will meet later Thursday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHEEN-zoh AH-bay).

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On Friday, Tillerson travels to South Korea, where U.S. forces are engaged in annual military drills that have angered Pyongyang.

He then goes to China. Washington wants Beijing to exert more pressure on North Korea over its provocative behavior.

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