Tillerson says State Department spending 'simply not sustainable'

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

So we have 20 years of failed approach, and that includes a period in which the United States provided $1.35 billion in assistance to North Korea as an encouragement to take a different pathway.

Meanwhile in Beijing, a North Korean diplomat said that his country must act in self-defence against the US-South Korea military drills which he said have brought the region to the brink of nuclear war.

When speaking in Tokyo, Tillerson said the cuts to the department are important to fix the "historically high" budget, Reuters reported. On his first two trips, Tillerson took along reporters from the "pool" of reporters covering State - an long-standing arrangement in which traveling reporters share updates about goings-on with a wider group of media.

Mr. Skatell said a State Department official had explained that Mr. Tillerson's delegation "would be flying on a smaller plane than normal and that press access would be limited". The U.S. president's phone call to his Chinese counterpart last month helped ease tension over Taiwan - which China sees as part of its turf but whose self-rule Washington respects.

"The talks will (also) help advance the bilateral consultations that have been underway and lay a good foundation for continued high-level coordination between South Korea and the USA going forward", Cho told reporters. "The more that we put into the State Department's diplomacy, hopefully the less we have to put into a military budget", he said.

"The continuing testing and augmenting of its weapons programme is of great concern, and it's getting to the point where we need to do - we do need to look at other alternatives", Mr Toner said.


Tillerson said the alliance with Japan is a "cornerstone of peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region".

The IJR had said in its own statement that the State Department had moved last week to offer one of the outlet's reporters, Erin McPike, a place aboard Mr. Tillerson's aircraft for the trip to Asia, where the secretary of state began his diplomatic visit in Japan Wednesday. "As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the US will be directly engaged in".

"We remain committed to a USA foreign policy that advances the security and prosperity of the American people", the spokesperson told Politico.

In response to the series of provocations by North Korea, the USA administration under President Donald Trump is in the process of reviewing its policies toward the reclusive state. -Japanese resolve, Tillerson met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Analysts were hoping to use Tillerson's remarks as guidance on the options that the United States might consider in responding to the nuclear threat from North Korea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit the United States in April, presumably meeting Trump for the first time.

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