Japan, US Introduces Joint Naval Drill In The Sea of North Korea

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"The Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to work with the worldwide community toward denuclearisation", Mattis said. But China's Liu made clear last week that Beijing's top priority is to restart talks with North Korea and reduce tensions, rather than impose new sanctions.

The UN security council unanimously passed a resolution against North Korea Friday after the regime launched its ninth ballistic missile test of the year.

The sanctioned individuals are now subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.

The sentiments were echoed by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who criticised China's militarisation of the waters and their creation of artificial islands.

"We are compelled to point out that after change of administration in the United States, and the sanctions as though by inertia remain a constant of American policy and this includes attempts to use them against Russian entities and citizens", Safronkov said during the security council meeting. "The longstanding alliance between the USA and Japan contributes to the peace and stability in the region".

Australia stands "ready to assist" the Philippines as government forces battle ISIS-linked militants in the country's south, defence minister Marise Payne says. "Our two countries can and do cooperate for mutual benefit".

In response, Mattis said the U.S.is committed to its "one China" policy and there has been no adjustment to this.

He was, however, unrelentingly critical of North Korea, a politically and economically isolated nation whose leaders have long viewed the United States as a military threat, in part because of periodic US military exercises with South Korea, which the North sees as preparations for attacks aimed at destroying its ruling elite.

The mounting tensions with its neighbor led South Korea to ask the US for installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system on the peninsula.

They were also united to call on the North to halt ballistic missile launches and abandon its nuclear program in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" manner. "Because no single bilateral relationship can get us where we want to go - only working in concert can take us forward".

"For me, the troubling thing is I don't know what the strategic plan of the USA is", Cohen added.

His office Cheong Wa Dae suspects that the defense ministry intentionally dropped the report to Moon who believes his predecessor struck the THAAD deal with the U.S.in a hasty move without due procedures at home including a joint environmental survey of the THAAD site.

Mattis however dismissed the possibility that the U.S.is returning to Trans-Pacific Partnership trade arrangements.

The nuclear ambitions of North Korea coupled with development of ballistic missiles pose "direct and immediate threats to our regional allies, partners, and all the world", he said, describing the regime's actions as "manifestly illegal under worldwide law".

The U.S. military this week successfully tested a defense system created to shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in midair. "This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat".

Mattis said China's construction of bases and man-made islands in the South China Sea is problematic due to the "nature of its militarization, China's blatant disregard for worldwide law and its contempt for other nations' interest its effort to dismiss non-adversarial resolution of issues".

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