He was unable to show that the USA has fulfilled President Donald Trump's objective of a new, more cooperative relationship between the former Cold War foes, noting only modest efforts in Syria as a sign the nations share some common goals.
"Hammond said the secretary is in the process of working through disagreements with Russian Federation, and this is not consistent with what we're trying to do", the official said.
One of the key things Russian Federation wants is for the U.S.to return two diplomatic properties that were seized late past year under Obama administration sanctions in retaliation for Russia's interference in the election.
Identifying North Korea as one of the first threats encountered by the Trump administration, Tillerson said the threat has materialised in the ways they expected it would.
Donald Trump has heard the US intelligence assessments about Russian Federation taking steps to help put him in power, but the president refuses to believe it. Trump recently sat down with radical TV preacher Pat Robertson said, in reference to Russia's Vladimir Putin, "Why would he want me?"
"Secretary Tillerson's travel reaffirms the Administration's commitment to further broaden and enhance U.S. economic and security interests in the Asia-Pacific region", the State Department said.
Tillerson likely will meet while in Asia with China's foreign minister, Thornton said, just as the US presses Beijing to isolate North Korea by reducing its economic and other ties.
"Now the action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place, and the way they did, neither the president nor I were very happy about that", Tillerson said. "We were clear that we didn't think that was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that's the decision they made".
At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that Trump would sign the sanctions bill into law, but she could not say when that would happen.
"We initiated a sustained and continued intensified campaign on what I like to call peaceful pressure, because the options available to us, I think as all of you well understand, are limited, and particularly if we think we are operating under a short period of time", he said.
Vice President Mike Pence sounded a distinctly different note about the sanctions bill Tuesday, when he was in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, seeking to reassure Russia's neighbors, who are anxious about Moscow's expansionist policies. It means that the total number of U.S. diplomatic personnel is to be cut to 455.
The DPRK said that the test-firing aimed to "finally confirm the overall technological specifications of the weapon system of Hwasong-14 capable of carrying large-sized heavy nuclear warhead, including its maximum range", according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). "Does it make our lives more hard?"
"I will be meeting face-to-face with Foreign Minister Lavrov this weekend on the margins of the (ASEAN and East Asia Summit) meetings in Manila", Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday.