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Tillerson to Visit Myanmar, Join Trump on Asia Trip

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers a reporter's question at the State Department, in Washington, Oct. 13, 2017.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will go to Myanmar and accompany President Donald Trump on his visit to Asia, the State Department said in a statement Thursday.

Tillerson will travel to Tokyo November 5 through 7 with the president and participate in bilateral talks between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Tillerson and Trump will then travel to South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The secretary of state will make an additional trip to Myanmar.

"The secretary’s six-country trip demonstrates the administration’s commitment to our alliances and partnerships in the Asia Pacific and highlights our ongoing engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) on regional issues of mutual interest and concern," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

During the trip, talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and other world leaders are expected to center on questions about how to deal with North Korea’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Earlier this week, Tillerson took a rather strident tone towards China in a major speech just days before the president's trip, saying that the U.S. would "not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order."