US

Tillerson says Asia allies 'critical' for addressing NKorea

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands prior to their bilateral meeting at the Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Tillerson is in Tokyo for the first leg of the trip to Asia, which is occurring amid escalating tensions with North Korea.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, right, shake hands prior to their bilateral meeting at the Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Tillerson is in Tokyo for the first leg of the trip to Asia, which is occurring amid escalating tensions with North Korea.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, speaks to Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, during their bilateral meeting at Iikura House in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, speaks to Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, during their bilateral meeting at Iikura House in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, left, walk together to their bilateral meeting at the Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Tillerson is in Tokyo for the first leg of the trip to Asia, which is occurring amid escalating tensions with North Korea.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, and Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, left, walk together to their bilateral meeting at the Foreign Ministry's Iikura Guesthouse in Tokyo, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Tillerson is in Tokyo for the first leg of the trip to Asia, which is occurring amid escalating tensions with North Korea.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says cooperation with allies Japan and South Korea is "critical" to addressing the threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Tillerson was speaking as he met Thursday with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (foo-MEE-oh kih-SHEE-dah) on his first trip to Asia as the top U.S. diplomat.

North Korea is expected to top the agenda at Tillerson's talks. Last week, North Korea test-fired four missiles that landed in the ocean off Japan.

Tillerson will meet later Thursday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHEEN-zoh AH-bay).

On Friday, Tillerson travels to South Korea, where U.S. forces are engaged in annual military drills that have angered Pyongyang.

He then goes to China. Washington wants Beijing to exert more pressure on North Korea over its provocative behavior.