As the North Korean minister of foreign affairs and a U.S. Secretary of State sits down in a room for the first time in history, the world is closely watching to see what the top diplomats of Pyongyang and Washington will actually do as they meet face to face in the same room to discuss the burning issues confronting them.

Rex Tillerson and Ri Yong are scheduled to attend the annual Association of Southeastern Asian Nations in the Philippines on Sunday, to discuss issues bordering on security among others. 27 ASEAN countries are participating in the regional summit.

The high-level meeting

Mike Fuchs, who is a former deputy assistant secretary of state for the Pacific affairs and East Asia, said the meeting is the most highly anticipated annual encounter between Washington and Pyongyang and the first ever by the Trump administration.

Fuchs said the meeting will avail an important opportunity for both the U.S. and North Korea to send strong and clear messages, without middle men, to one another in regard to their policies. He stated that the interesting part of it is the clear signals that would emanate from the other when they are both in the room together.

The U.S. Secretary of State will be saddled with the task of attempting to reassure allies and partners in the room of America’s commitment and also try to send a clear and direct message to Pyongyang what the US can take and cannot accept from North Korea's increasingly advancing nuclear weapons program

North Korea’s missile program

Following North Korea’s launch of two nuclear missiles on different occasions which analysts say have the capacity of conveying a nuclear warhead capable of striking the US mainland; many experts suggested that the top U.S. diplomats now have to regard the pariah state as an immediate threat.

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Susan Thornton, of the Department of State’s Bureau of Pacific Affairs and East Asia, told newsmen that Tillerson was not scheduled to meet with Ri. It is, however, unclear if the two Diplomats will have lower-level meetings.

China's effort for a roundtable meeting

China has been pushing for both countries to sit and discuss the burning issue at length to find a common ground towards resolving the crisis. Representatives from the Philippines said at ASEAN, they and China are expected to consider and approve a Code of Conduct for issues bordering on the South China Sea, which is highly disputed by multiple countries due to its rich resources.