The Trump administration cautiously embraced China's apparent newfound cooperation, while putting it on notice that the USA would be watching closely to ensure it didn't ease up on Pyongyang if and when the world's attention is diverted elsewhere. Kang is thanking the USA for consulting with South Korea on the sanctions.
"We strongly call upon (North Korea) as a participant of the ASEAN Regional Forum, to positively contribute to realize the ARF vision to maintain the Asia-Pacific as a region of lasting peace, stability, friendship and prosperity", said the ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila.
Removing North Korea from the grouping, however, will be tough.
The meeting comes as the USA and Asian nations join together to try to step up Pyongyang's economic and diplomatic isolation.
The council passed the resolution unanimously, imposing new sanctions on North Korea for its continued ballistic missile testing and violations of United Nations resolutions.
Tillerson will also participate in the East Asia Summit Ministerial and the U.S. -ASEAN Ministerial.
"It's not that easy but it is a direction we need to work together towards", Wang said of the six-nation talks.
"We want to make sure China is continuing to implement fully the sanctions regime", Thornton told reporters in Manila. North Korea has confirmed that its top diplomat, Ri Yong Ho, will attend, raising the specter of a verbal showdown in the 27-nation forum, which also includes Pyongyang's ally, China. Tillerson says he and the South Korean diplomat plan to discuss the sanctions during their meeting, along with next steps to pressure the North. It was a question driving the chatter in the hallways at the meeting, but the USA summarily shot down the prospect.
Wang said there was now a "high level of sensitivity and complexity" that had hurt China's relations with North Korea.
In response, Washington drafted the planned United Nations resolution to toughen sanctions against Pyongyang.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gestures during a press conference at the sidelines of the the 50th ASEAN (ASEAN) minsters forum at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, August 06, 2017. "We share the belief that no country has a ideal human rights situation", it said. He left Pyongyang on Saturday and was en route to Manila, the North's official KCNA news agency reported.
The U.S. -drafted measure bans North Korea from exporting coal, iron and other items like seafood products.
ASEAN's problem in agreeing the wording highlight China's growing influence at a time of uncertainty over the new US administration's policy on the South China Sea and to what extent it will contest China's assertiveness. It's part of America's broader effort to isolate Pyongyang diplomatically and force it to end missile tests and abandon its nuclear weapons program.
"Moreover, I will tell him that to build a peace system, North Korea must respond to the two proposals we recently suggested". The Trump administration is cautiously embracing China's apparent newfound cooperation.
But in recent days, the two powers have started to paper over some of those differences.
Earlier this week Tillerson said the U.S.is not looking for a regime change in North Korea, and that they might be willing to talk with Pyongyand under the right circumstances. Trump has held off, for now, on the trade actions.
But in a characteristically fiery editorial before the latest sanctions were approved, the North's ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun warned against U.S. aggression.
The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends overseas. "It is also China". "It is China", Wang, the Chinese foreign minister, said Sunday.