12 August, 2017
The call came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the USA military "locked and loaded" and warning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against US territories or allies.
While some officials of ASEAN members acknowledged concerns about North Korea, they also cited concerns about trade relations with the United States.
"North Korea poses a serious threat to the USA and all options should be on the table to protect the American people", Nelson said.
Intentionally or not, those remarks escalated the back-and-forth between the US and North Korea, hours after reports emerged that North Korea may have developed the technology to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and fit it onto a ballistic missile.
But the president has voiced increasing frustration recently, saying that China has done little with regard to North Korea, despite the fact that Beijing "could easily solve this problem".
The threat to attack Guam, he says, is a test of President Trump's "larger strategy".
"The powerful revolutionary Paektusan army of the DPRK, capable of fighting any war the USA wants, is now on the standby to launch fire into its mainland, waiting for an order of final attack", it said.
I returned to Pyongyang in August 2010, at the invitation of North Korean leaders, to bring home Aijalon Gomes, an American who had been detained there.
He stopped in the small Pacific island of Guam, a USA territory, just hours after North Korea threatened to strike it. (North Korea's foreign minister attended the meeting, but Tillerson did not acknowledge his presence.) The forum took a stronger line than usual on North Korea, calling for the regime to comply with UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program and unanimously agreeing on Saturday to ban mineral and seafood exports worth some one billion dollars to the regime.
Trump, appearing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, upended the long-standing USA commitment to a "two-state" solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. State-run media ensures that the population gets the North Korean side of the story, but doesn't convey any sense of worldwide concern about the situation.
"We do not seek to be a threat to them, but we have to respond to the serious threats that they make towards us", Tillerson said. President Trump was speaking in Kim Jong Un language and he was received in kind. "I think the president was doing this as a means to get people's attention, including the Chinese", he added.
"Hopefully it'll all work out", Trump said.