Mattis Congratulates South Korea's New Defense Minister

Pauline Gross
August 19, 2017

"Both Secretary Mattis and Minister Song strongly condemned North Korea's second intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 28 and resolved to continue to closely coordinate responses to the North Korean threat", White said.

"We will absolutely help and what's most important for ballistic missile defense is that we integrate our capabilities", Dunford said.

Holding separate meetings with Japanese officials in Washington Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that North Korea will face "strong military consequences" if it were to launch a military strike at the U.S. or its allies.

Abe told Dunford: "We firmly demonstrated the strength of the Japan-US alliance at a time when the North Korea situation has intensified".

Tillerson said the North Korean regime should engage in diplomatic talks to bring better results, unlike in the past.

Abe in turn thanked the United States for its support towards Japan against the threat posed by North Korea, Efe news reported. "So that is our effort, to cause them to want to engage in talks, but engage in talks with an understanding that these talks will lead to a different conclusion than talks of the past", he said.

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Moon was elected in May after a near-decade of conservative rule that saw animosity deepen between the rival Koreas. President Moon's statement on North Korea can thus be interpreted as a cautionary response to the situation.

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"We agreed to bolster our alliance capabilities to deter and respond to North Korea's unacceptable behaviour and other challenges to regional security", Mr Tillerson said.

US Secretary of State says that objective of sanctions is to bring Pyongyang back to the bargaining tableUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared on August 17 that the North Korean policy statement that he and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis gave the press on August 13 had "been endorsed" by US President Donald Trump.

Japan's defensive upgrades will include the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, part of a U.S. Missile Defense Agency program created to counter intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).

North Korea has fired missiles and taken other steps in response to the war games in the past.

Earlier this week, North Korea appeared to put a hold on its threat to attack Guam, saying it would wait to assess "the foolish and stupid conduct" of the USA before launching any missiles. The US and North Korea have been engaged in heated verbal sparring since Trump warned Pyongyang that it faced "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten the US and other countries with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. "We also oppose militarisation activity in the South China Sea", he said.

"(Japan and the U.S.) also confirmed their shared commitment to enhance and accelerate cooperation in such areas as bilateral planning, air and missile defense, non-combatant evacuation operations, defense equipment and technology cooperation, intelligence cooperation and information security", a press release from the State Department issued on Thursday reads. "In light of the threat of North Korea, the four of us confirmed the importance of the unwavering USA commitment to extend the deterrence", he added.

Other reports by GizPress

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