US presses for more action from Thailand to restrict North Korea

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    On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Thai leaders for more action to curb North Korea during a high level state visit to Thailand. This is the first such high level visit by a US official since relations deteriorated between the two in 2014 after a military coup led to a downgrade in Thailand’s status.

    In an effort to curb funding avenues for North Korea, the US has requested Thai authorities to shut down North Korean front companies, which the US believes are active in Thailand, according to Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton.

    Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had earlier stated that Thailand would support a UN resolution on new sanctions on North Korea over its continued ballistic missile tests. Thailand’s foreign minister also stated that trade with North Korea had dropped by 94 per cent in the past year. The US has also encouraged Thailand to take in as many North Korean refugees as it can handle.