Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his North Korean counterpart did their best to avoid each other at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathering on Sunday, just one day after all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council voted to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, in an effort led largely by the U.S., The Hill reports.
Tillerson and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho took efforts to avoid direct contact at the conference in Manilla, according to reports. The secretary of state even skipped a dinner for foreign ministers that was attended by Ri Yong Ho.
The gathering came one day after the U.S. proved successful in convincing members of the Security Council, most notably China, to ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea in response to the regime’s increasingly aggressive behavior. The sanctions would target North Korea’s major exports such as coal, iron and seafood, according to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
North Korea alarmed its neighbors and members of the global community when it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles within roughly the last month.
“It is time for North Korea to realize, we are not playing anymore,” Haley said on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.
“They can either respond by pulling back and saying that they are not going to be a part of this reckless activity anymore or they can see where it goes,” she noted.