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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson participates in the East Asia Summit in Manila, Philippines on Nov. 14, 2017.   © Reuters

East Asia Summit sends message to North Korea -- without Trump

Secretary of State Tillerson replaces president, China and Russia in attendance

SHOTARO TANI, Nikkei staff writer | North Korea

MANILA -- Leaders from 18 countries met in the Philippine capital for the East Asia Summit on Tuesday, with concerns about continued provocations by North Korea a key area of discussion. But the meeting was underscored by the absence of U.S. President Donald Trump, as he left the Philippine capital due to what is believed to be time constraints.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who chaired the summit, told reporters that "almost every leader" mentioned North Korea in their speeches. "The dark clouds are there. We better pray," he said, describing the situation in the Korean Peninsula as a "crisis looming ahead."

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