U.N. Security Council Unanimously Broadens Sanctions On North Korea

"The scope and effect of China's construction activities in the South China Sea differ from those of other countries in several key ways", Mattis told the Shangri-La regional defense summit in Singapore.

China has reclaimed thousands of acres of land on reefs in the South China Sea, adding airstrips, lighthouses and port facilities to better project influence over the waterway.

North Korea on Sunday denounced the new sanctions imposed two days earlier by the U.N. Security Council after Pyongyang conducted a ninth ballistic missile test this year in defiance of earlier U.N. resolutions.

The UN Security Council on Friday expanded targeted sanctions against North Korea after its repeated missile tests, adopting the first such resolution agreed by the United States and China since Trump took office.

It's unclear if and how much the new United Nations sanctions would sting North Korea, which is already under multiple rounds of United Nations and other worldwide sanctions.

In his speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, sponsored by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mattis sought to balance his hopeful comments on China with sharp criticism of what he called Beijing's disregard for international law by its "indisputable militarization" of artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

The Trump administration has pledged to work with China on North Korea, but Trump has said the United States would act unilaterally if China did not step in.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to forestall the threat of US attack.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to forestall the threat of U.S. attack.

"That's why we're here, that's why we travel to the region, that's why we engage with our counterparts", Tillerson said, standing alongside Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, Bishop and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne.

Among the main topics on the agenda, was the rising anxiety over China's increasing power and the militarisation of islands within the vital trading route of the South China Sea.

Apart from using the USA alliance to tackle its belligerent neighbour, Japan also wants the military partnership to exert influence on other parts of Asia, including the highly contested South China Sea, Inada said.

Although the previous U.S. administration of Barack Obama insisted it was neutral territory, it spoke out strongly against the island-building and sought to build ties with, and among, the South East Asian nations whose claims overlap those of China.

North Korea accuses China and the U.S. of "railroading and enforcing" the latest round of sanctions "after having drafted it in the backroom at their own pleasure".

This is a "reaffirmation of the US' longstanding interest in and commitment to the region", said Singapore's Defence Ministry.

But he stressed that China must follow through on pledges to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula through pressure on Pyongyang.

Mattis in his speech titled "The United States and Asia- Pacific Security" also expressed reservation about Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the global community.

He added, however, that countries must "contribute sufficiently to their own security".

  • Larry Hoffman