Tillerson defends cuts to State Department budget


Rex Tillerson, President Donald Trump's secretary of state, makes his first trip to Asia-Pacific as US Secretary of State, starting Wednesday, with stop-offs in Japan, South Korea and China.

At a press conference held after the ministerial meeting, Kishida said the two sides agreed to make their respective policies toward North Korea congruous, but did not refer to the details of what was explained by Tillerson about the US review.

Tillerson said at the outset of talks that trilateral cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States is "critical" in addressing North Korea's provocative actions.

President Donald Trump caused anxiety during his election campaign by suggesting United States allies Japan and South Korea need to do more to defend themselves.

But China will do more than that.

With his department reeling over President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts and the global community anxious, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson insisted Thursday he was happy to try to do more with less.

It is not just Trump, but also Tillerson that has slammed Beijing in recent weeks.

As a result, trade disputes between Japan and the U.

China has imposed a ban on coal imports from North Korea, a move that - if fully implemented - would deprive the regime of a crucial stream of revenue.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Asia on Wednesday for his first foreign trip with nearly no fanfare. Staunch US ally South Korea, which Mr Tillerson visits on Friday, is rudderless following the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye, who had been embroiled in a political scandal. His aides have said no options, including a possible preemptive military strike against North Korean nuclear facilities, are off the table. Amid continued missile tests from North Korea, the USA and ally South Korea have carried out military drills, drawing criticism from Kim Jong Un, the North's authoritarian leader.

This removed a major stumbling block that could explode into a crisis never seen in the past decades, by shaking the foundation of the China-U.S. ties. Besides issues of cooperation between Tokyo, Washington and Seoul to solve North Korea's nuclear issue, the sides discussed Japan's policy towards Russian Federation and the U.S. stance on this.

Japan recalled its Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine in January over a comfort woman statue in front of the Japanese Consulate-General in Busan.

And while the relationship with South Korea may have always been stable, the country is in the depths of a major political crisis following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. The official said Tillerson is being given more time "to do a deeper analysis on foreign aid".

The decision to travel on a smaller aircraft was Tillerson's, Toner said, and was in part an effort to save money. He pointedly noted that 20 years of "diplomatic and other efforts" had failed to dissuade the isolated communist government from developing its nuclear program, which he called an "ever-escalating threat".

One reporter is traveling with Tillerson, instead of the usual, larger group from news organizations that traditionally have gone with the secretary of state.

With so many competing interests in economic and territorial disputes, and a looming military threat, Mr Tillerson will have to thread the diplomatic needle carefully - weighing each nation's goals against the desire of the United States, and everyone else involved, for regional stability.

Egypt is the second-largest recipient of US aid, a payment that has helped maintain peace between Egypt and Israel since the Carter presidency.