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U.S. not seeking North Korea regime change, willing to talk: Rex Tillerson

03 August, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • US Secretary of State Tillerson leads diplomats attending Asean forum

The bill nearly unanimously supported by both houses of Congress.

President Barack Obama expanded the unit's mission at the end of his term after intelligence agencies concluded Russian Federation had flooded social media with fake news and phony Twitter accounts to influence the 2016 elections, and lawmakers from both parties want a stronger US response.

Tillerson conceded that the vote was representative of the American people's view "because it was made by their representatives in the Congress". Tillerson also has fumed over the slow pace of White House approvals for senior State Department positions.

Tillerson said he understood why Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the U.S.to drastically cut its diplomatic presence in Russia, even though the move was in retaliation for a similar USA action previous year under President Barack Obama.

"And the question, I think, of the events of the last week or so, is it getting worse or can we maintain some level of stability in that relationship?"

"Regarding Russia, we have not sought to reduce efforts to spotlight and combat Moscow's "active measures" or information activities", Hammond told the website.

Putin has denied Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, despite the intelligence community's assessment that the Kremlin meddled to boost Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

But now Trump is poised to sign into law a bill to further tighten sanctions and Putin has ordered the USA diplomatic mission in Russian Federation to cut hundreds of staff.




Despite his displeasure with the sanctions, Tillerson said of the president, "all indications are he will sign that bill".

Washington, which has failed to make much headway in narrowing the trade deficit with Beijing, has a long list of grievances about China on trade, including accusations of steel dumping and theft of USA intellectual property.

"I see him as appealing to the Chinese to help him to keep this single most important bilateral relationship on an even kneel", he said.

"I will be meeting face-to-face with Foreign Minister Lavrov this weekend on the margins of the (ASEAN and East Asia Summit) meetings in Manila", Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday.

Tillerson said he has already spoken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, describing the conversation as "professional".

"I would say our conversation following the actions has been professional. The sequencing of all of that, we're open to, as long as that is the that's is achieved at the end", he said.

We initiated a sustained and continued intensified campaign on what I like to call peaceful pressure, because the options available to us, I think as all of you well understand, are limited, and particularly if we think we are operating under a short period of time.

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