Pentagon chief says NKorea's nuclear pursuits a 'danger'

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

Speaking at an worldwide security conference in Singapore, Mr Mattis said the Trump administration was encouraged by China's renewed commitment to working with the USA and others to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

Among the four entities listed in the resolution are Kangbong Trading Corp., Korea Kumsan Trading Corp., Koryo Bank and the Strategic Rocket Force of the Korean People's Army.

The US defense secretary has called North Korea a "clear and present" threat, urging China to recognize Pyongyang as a "strategic liability".

The resolution slapped even more United Nations sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) and condemns the regime's continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.

In the last several months, North Korea has tested numerous missiles.

The UN Security Council first imposed sanctions on Pyongyang in 2006 over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and has ratcheted up the measures in response to five nuclear tests and two long-range missile launches. We are convinced that it will increase the tensions of the region.

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.

The measure added new individuals and entities connected to Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear programs to the existing United Nations blacklist.

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"The Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to work with the global community toward denuclearisation", Mattis said.

The defense chief spoke directly to concerns that America might grant concessions to China in order to ensure its cooperation on North Korea, saying the issue was not "binary" and that the United States would continue to pressure Beijing elsewhere. In April, Beijing halted imports of coal shipments from North Korea, one of the isolated country's few sources of income, but has taken a less confrontational approach than Washington with calls for more dialogue.

"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.

Allies around the world have been concerned about the commitment of the United States since Trump took office on January 20 because of his "America First" rhetoric and expectations that he would concentrate on a domestic agenda.

In a warning to China, the defense secretary expressed his intention to maintain the "freedom of navigation" operation - maritime patrols by US military vessels and other ships - in South China Sea waterways.

Dean says Russian Federation and China are both aware of the threats the North Korean weapons program could pose to peace, but the United States has "pushed the envelope" in this issue.

North Korea has carried out two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the beginning of a year ago in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.

Other reports by VgToday

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