FILE - In this March 7, 2017 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson shakes hands with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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Washington's top diplomat was to fly into Tokyo Wednesday to begin a first tour of Asian capitals under the shadow of North Korea's nuclear posturing.U.S. officials confirmed North Korea's provocative behaviour would be "front and center" as Tillerson meets Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida Thursday.Tillerson will also have to broach the topic of North Korea's progress towards building an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would be able to threaten U.S. mainland cities or bases in the Pacific.China is perhaps the last country with significant leverage over North Korea, which has ignored several rounds of UN-backed sanctions targeting its banned nuclear weapons program.Washington insists THAAD is a defensive system deployed to protect the South and U.S. bases from North Korean missiles, but China fears its advanced radar system undermines China's nuclear deterrent.
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