US Praises Narendra Modi's Call For Freedom Of Navigation For Peace

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, Defence Secretary James Mattis said such moves undermined regional stability and would not be tolerated.

"What a crummy world if we all retreat inside our borders", he said. "North Korea must cease its provocative actions and abide by its global obligations and commitments", she said.

Calling North Korea's nuclear ambitions a "threat to us all," Mattis asked the worldwide community to come together on the issue.

"We're working diplomatically, economically, we're trying to exhaust all possible alternatives to avert this race for a nuclear weapon in violation of. the United Nations' restrictions on North Korea's activities", he said.

In past, the policy of U.S. was to slow down the missile tests carried out by the North Korean state; the Pyongyang would be capable of hitting the American state after the formation of the nuclear-tripped missile.

Last Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution to impose more sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Speaking at an worldwide security conference in Singapore, Mattis noted the Pentagon conducted what it called a successful test this week of its missile defence system, which is being developed mainly with North Korea in mind.

Trump - who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail - has turned to Beijing to help rein in North Korea's weapons programme.

The US Navy on May 25 conducted a "freedom of navigation" operation in the South China Sea, when the USS Dewey guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. "Countries must also do more to break up North Korean smuggling rings, and cut off the sources of funding North Korea uses to pay for the development of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them", she said in a statement.

It was the first time since President Donald Trump took office that America and China - Pyongyang's only major ally - agreed to adopt such a resolution.

Mr. Mattis said Washington oppose countries militarising artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims.

But he said the country's President Rodrigo Duterte "has a very clear view about resolving these issues in the Philippines by the defence and security agencies by the Philippines".

The Japanese defence minister said the threat had entered a new stage and urged the North to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cease its provocative actions.

"While competition between the USA and China, the world's two largest economies, is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable", he said.

"We can not accept Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the worldwide community, undermining the rules-based order that has benefited all countries represented here today including, and especially, China", he told some 500 delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue which focus on defence and security.

"I believe that if China and the United States can ensure no conflict, as well as maintain mutual respect, cooperation and trust, it will contribute greatly to security in the Asia Pacific and the world", Lt Gen He Lei, the head of Beijing's delegation, told reporters.

  • Zachary Reyes