N.Korea rejects S.Korea group's offer for malaria help

Randall Padilla
June 7, 2017

While eager to work with China in dealing with North Korea, Mattis said the United States did not accept China placing weapons and other military assets on man-made islands in 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 to military leaders from at least 22 countries.

Mattis used his speech on Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security forum in Singapore, to affirm United States alliances that he said had helped keep the peace for decades in Asia.

While he admitted that rivalry between China and the U.S. - the world's two largest economies - was bound to occur, he also said that did not mean conflict was inevitable.

Although the previous USA administration of Barack Obama insisted it was neutral territory, it spoke out strongly against the island-building and sought to build ties with, and among, the South East Asian nations whose claims overlap those of China. "Our two countries can and do cooperate for mutual benefit".

Mattis's speech touched off a furious reaction from Chinese military delegates attending the summit, reports said. Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said that North Korea's ballistic missile defense system is a direct threat to the Russians and in the past few months, the repeated missile tests have alarmed the livelihood of all the Russian citizens.

"We want to stop this".

It's unclear how far China will go to help on North Korea in the face of South China Sea tensions. In his speech, Mattis said the USA will stick to its treaty commitments to South Korea.

North Korea condemned the simulation of interception of U.S. Intercontinental ballistic missiles and claimed that the United States is unable to intercept a massive nuclear attack.

Russia chose to support the measure despite Kremlin anger over Washington's move to impose U.S. sanctions on two Russian firms that do business with North Korea. "We consider it urgent", he added.

Speaking at the dialogue, Asia's premier security forum, Mattis said the threat from North Korea was "clear and present" and that Pyongyang had increased its pace of pursuing nuclear weapons. Its latest missile test took place on May 28, just one week ago.

In another sign of increased pressure on North Korea, Japan's navy and air force began a three-day military exercise with two USA aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan on Thursday.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the resolution served as "a warning" to North Korea of tougher sanctions to come unless it changes course and halts its tests.

Mattis said the U.S. backed Duterte in his clashes with Islamic State-linked militants and would help modernise the nation's military.

Mattis made no mention of President Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate change agreement. An Australian questioner asked, in light of Trump's abandonment of an worldwide trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and his withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, "why should we not fret that we are present at the destruction of" a global rules-based order?

"Beyond diplomatic and financial consequences, the United States remains prepared to counteract North Korean aggression through other means, if necessary", she said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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