Jim Mattis reassures allies as US turns to China on North Korea


"This includes the nature of its militarization".

He has maintained that India supports freedom of navigation and seeks "utmost respect" for worldwide law, amid China's muscle flexing in the region.

The US Navy on May 25 conducted a "freedom of navigation" operation in the South China Sea, when the USS Dewey guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

In June 2009, the United Nations unanimously adopted resolution 1874, imposing stricter sanctions on the recalcitrant regime.

In a question-and-answer session with his audience of national security experts from across the globe, Mattis was asked whether the US might attack the North pre-emptively and without warning South Korea in advance.

"I don't think there's room right now to pushing adversarial approaches". China and Japan both claim islands in the East China Sea.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several southeast Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Liu said China was calling on all parties to implement the resolution and "strive for a peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue" by strengthening efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and promote peace and dialogue.

To underscore the point, he urged China, the region's rising power, to help rein in North Korea and warned it against showing "contempt" for other nations by asserting its claims to the South China Sea."The United States will continue to adapt and continue to expand its ability to work with others to secure a peaceful, prosperous and free Asia, with respect for all nations upholding worldwide law", Mattis said.

USA defence secretary James Mattis said the United States was encouraged by China's efforts to restrain North Korea, and that the threat from North Korea was clear and present.

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"It is therefore imperative that we do our part each of us to fulfill our obligations and work together to support our shared goal of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula", Mattis said in a policy speech at the Shangri-La defence summit in Singapore.

The resolution also condemned North Korea's nuclear and ballistic activities "in the strongest terms" and reaffirmed the Security Council's demand that Pyongyang abandon all nuclear weapons and programs and halt all nuclear and missile tests.

"The Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to work with the global community toward denuclearization", Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Saturday, according to Reuters.

The defence chief spoke directly to concerns America might grant concessions to China to ensure cooperation on North Korea, saying the issue was not "binary" and that the United States would continue to pressure Beijing elsewhere.

Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada, speaking at the Singapore forum, said Tokyo backed the United States using any option to deal with North Korea, including military strikes, and was seeking a deeper alliance with Washington.

North Korea has publicized an appeal for peace via its state media, but accused the US of pursuing a militarized policy that sought the destruction of the authoritarian country.

The posture shifts have left some in the region seeking clarity on USA policy.

The measures adopted on Friday could have been agreed by the council's North Korea sanctions committee behind closed doors, but Washington convinced China to back a public vote on the blacklist, amplifying the council's unhappiness with Pyongyang's defiance of a United Nations ban on ballistic missile launches.

The US-drafted resolution has imposed a global travel ban and asset freeze on those added to the blacklist, which previously contained 39 individuals and 42 North Korean entities.

In a speech after the vote, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said "the Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today: Stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences".