Tillerson says NKorea must halt launches to talk

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor is seen in Seongju

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor is seen in Seongju

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) greets North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho before their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 50th Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila, Philippines August 6, 2017.

There was no direct reaction from North Korea to Tillerson's remarks but in a statement after the USA secretary of state made his comments, Pyongyang responded robustly to the new sanctions by saying it was ready to teach the United States a "severe lesson" if it attacked.

Two Southeast Asian diplomats say disagreements over North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests and territorial disputes in the South China Sea have prevented the region's top diplomats from promptly issuing their joint communique after an annual summit in Manila over the weekend.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who is chairing the Manila meetings, said on Friday ASEAN would not consider expelling North Korea from the ARF. They target North Korea's primary exports - including coal, iron and seafood - and attempt to cut off its additional revenue streams by targeting some of its banks and joint ventures with foreign companies. Since Saturday's U.N. Security Council vote, Washington has put Beijing in particular on notice that it's watching closely to ensure China doesn't repeat its pattern of carrying out sanctions for a while, then returning to business as usual with the pariah nation on its border.

Kang met U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday and both described as a "good outcome" the passing of the tougher U.N sanctions.

They said they were committed to sanctions and to providing help in implementing them, including export controls. Lavrov said he believed the United States was ready to continue dialogue on complex issues, despite tension.

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It also prohibits countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working overseas, bans new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures.

"The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", said Tillerson, adding that "other means of communications" were open to Pyongyang.

President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are sharing their concerns about North Korea.

In a separate statement, the White House said the two leaders "affirmed that North Korea poses a grave and growing direct threat to the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as to most countries around the world".

But according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing an unnamed government source, Ri told Kang during their meeting Sunday that South Korea's offer of talks "lacked sincerity". North Korea pulled out of the talks - which also include South Korea, the U.S., China, Japan and Russian Federation - in 2009 to protest global condemnation of a long-range rocket launch.

The Latest on developments on efforts to ratchet up pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program.

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