Defense Secretary Mattis Turns Up Heat on North Korea and China

Defense Secretary James Mattis warned on Saturday that North Korea's rapid development of its weapons programs represents a "clear and present danger" to the United States.

Another senior military official from China said Mattis should also have mentioned agreements with Beijing, though the defense secretary later actually emphasized that the USA would stand by the "One China" principle, reports said.

The Trump administration is aiming for continuity in Asia policy, sticking broadly with the approach its predecessors have taken by emphasizing diplomacy and cooperation with allies, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday.

He says conflict between the USA and China is not inevitable even if there is competition between the nations. "Our two countries can and do cooperate for mutual benefit".

While she said the USA wants a negotiated solution to the North's nuclear programme and isn't seeking regime change, she reiterated "all options for responding to future provocations remain on the table".

He called North Korea an "urgent military threat".

"All states involved in territorial disagreements in the South China Sea need to adhere to the principle of the non-use of force", he said.

The Pentagon says it supports "in principle" a proposal by Senator John McCain, the head of the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee, to increase military funding for the Asia-Pacific by $7.5 billion.

"The Security Council is sending a clear message to North Korea today - stop firing ballistic missiles or face the consequences", U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the vote.

Russia made a decision to support the measure despite Kremlin anger over Washington's move to impose USA sanctions on two Russian firms that do business with North Korea.

North Korea's "ultra precision and diversified Juche Rocket" will continue to thunder and skyrocket in full blast in numbers and in succession until the U.S. and other like-minded countries take their "right choices", it added.

Mattis outlined the Trump administration's approach in remarks to reporters traveling with him to Singapore, where he will deliver a policy speech at an global security conference Saturday and meet with several Asian counterparts.

The public vote has been seen as a clear message to Pyongyang that the council is unhappy with their repeated defiance of the United Nations ban on ballistic missile launches.

The U.S. on Tuesday conducted its own test of a missile defense system, launching a rocket from California that officials said successfully hit and destroyed a target warhead fired from an atoll in the mid-Pacific.

Mr Mattis noted that the "scope and effect" of China's actions showed a "contempt for other nation's interests". The delegate, Michael Fullilove, citing Trump withdrawing from both the Paris agreement and the 12-nation trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and repeatedly criticizing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"There's a consensus that the United States message is very clear, not only from the point of view of the messaging, but the messenger", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes