BANGKOK (Reuters) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Thailand on Tuesday in the highest level visit by a U.S. official since a military coup in 2014 soured relations with the United States and brought the ruling junta closer to China.
Tillerson’s visit follows his attendance at a regional security forum in Manila at the weekend.
One of Tillerson’s top priorities has been urging Southeast Asian countries to do more to help cut funding streams for North Korea, with which he has held open the door for dialogue if it halts its recent series of missile tests.
But Thailand’s own politics and human rights record will also be in focus, as Washington strengthens relations with its oldest ally in the region after they were downgraded following the coup.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Busadee Santipitaks highlighted the importance of the visit for Thailand. She told Reuters…