Mattis says United States against 'coercive' Chinese moves in South China Sea

The United Nations security council unanimously passed a resolution with new sanctions against North Korea on Friday after the country launched its ninth ballistic missile test of the year, CNN reported.

The 18 names will be added to the current blacklist of 39 individuals and 42 North Korean entities already under United Nations sanctions.

Talking at the summit on Saturday morning, Defence Secretary Mattis was unrelentingly critical of North Korea.

He said the threat from North Korea was "clear and present" and that Pyongyang had increased its pace of pursuing nuclear weapons.

He called for global cooperation to denuclearise Korean Peninsula.

The United Nations Security Council is considering a U.S. and Chinese proposal to blacklist more North Korean individuals and entities after the country's repeated ballistic missile launches, diplomats said on Thursday. An interceptor launched from coastal California soared over the Pacific on Tuesday, scoring what officials called a direct hit on a target missile fired from a Pacific test range.

The UN has imposed trade sanctions and blocked the entry of technology into North Korea for building ballistic missiles since 2006.

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.

The Trump administration has recently taken a hard line against North Korea.

Adding to the uncertainty is the rapid rise of China as the preeminent superpower in the region.

"It is incumbent on all parties concerned to exercise restraint and to do more to help ease the tension and build mutual trust".

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defence and security forum, in Singapore on Saturday.

China has repeatedly warned the United States against any military activities in the South China Sea.

"Like it or not, we're part of the world", he said.

On Wednesday, a US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China.

"(China's) artificial island construction and indisputable militarisation of facilities on features in global waters undermine regional stability", he said.

"We can not and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo" in the South China Sea, he said.

Mr Mattis said he anticipated "friction" between the superpowers, saying: "While competition between the USA and China, the world's two largest economies, is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable".

Beijing often rails against the United States, Japan and other countries for what it sees as interference in the South China Sea, insisting it is for claimant countries involved in disputes to work them out.

French Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard, meanwhile, raised the security consequences of climate change, and expressed disappointment over US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

  • Leroy Wright