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Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, right, shows the way to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a meeting at Government House in Bangkok on Aug. 8.   © Reuters

Thailand hosts Tillerson, shows unity on Pyongyang sanctions

Secretary of state becomes top-ranked US official to visit Bangkok since coup

YUKAKO ONO, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

BANGKOK -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Thailand on Tuesday and met with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, becoming the highest-ranked American official to travel to the kingdom after the military regime took power in a 2014 coup.

The longstanding relationship between the two countries became strained after the coup as the previous U.S. administration showed strong concerns regarding Thailand's democracy and human rights issues. But relations appear to be warming again under President Donald Trump, especially as Washington looks to build a united front against North Korea's missile development threats.

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