United Nations expands sanctions against North Korea

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

"We will still be there", he said.

In opening remarks, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed disappointment over Trump's recent withdrawals from both the Paris Climate Accord and the Trans Pacific Partnership - a multilateral trade deal that was supposed to bind the U.S. economically with 12 other Asian nations.

"That enduring commitment is based on strategic interests and on shared values", said James Mattis, speaking at an annual Asian security conference in Singapore.

He also describes the leader of North Korea as "a very unstable man at the helm over there who holds nuclear weapons and threatens not only South Korea and its neighbors within the region but the world with a nuclear conflagration".

After meeting with President Xi Jinping in April, Trump, who once accused China of "raping" the USA, praised its leader as a "good man", saying it would be inappropriate to pressure Beijing while Washington is seeking its help with Pyongyang.

These partners include China, with Mattis saying that the Trump administration is encouraged by its " renewed commitment to work with the global community toward de-nuclearization, " adding that he believed China will eventually see North Korea as a strategic liability and not an asset given its propensity for inciting disharmony.

"We seek a constructive, results-oriented relationship with China".

"The U.S. steps up its military buildup including modernization of nuclear weapons just in order to obtain exclusive and permanent possession of the most sophisticated weapon system in the world".

Japan Holds Evacuation Drill Amid Tension From N. Korea
Japan Holds Evacuation Drill Amid Tension From N. Korea

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a new resolution to expand sanctions against North Korea, including officials, entities and a military units handling ballistic missiles with both China and Russian Federation voting in favour of the restrictions put forward by Washington.

Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada later said she placed "full trust" in the United States, a sentiment echoed by Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne.

He also said he believed China, North Korea's closest ally, will ultimately see Pyongyang as a liability.

"The current situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive", he said.

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Beijing has been building artificial islands on reefs and carrying out naval patrols in waters also claimed by these other nations. He insisted that the United States will "still be there", noting that the Trump administration will pursue "a fresh approach" while asking for patience from regional allies. -China relations, saying that while competition between the two countries "is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable".

Tensions between North Korea and the US have ratcheted up in an escalating exchange of rhetoric since President Trump took office in January.

Overall, Mr Mattis' speech struck a positive, hopeful tone for co-operation and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, where he and his predecessors have made it a priority to nurture and strengthen alliances and partnerships. He added, however, that countries must "contribute sufficiently to their own security". "We must do more to build on the success of today's test to truly keep Americans and their allies safe from the threat of ballistic missile attack", said Mike Rogers (R-Alabama), chairman of the House Armed Service.

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