North Korea says rejects new sanctions, to continue nuclear program

North Korea says rejects new sanctions, to continue nuclear program

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, center, shakes hands with South Korea's Minister of Defense Han Minkoo, left, and Japan's Minister of Defense Tomomi Inada, right, ahead of a trilateral meeting at the 2017 International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, on Saturday, June 3, 2017 in Singapore. They have said the terrorism threat to the city-state remains at the highest level in years, although there was no credible intelligence of an imminent attack.

There are plans to conduct drills later this month in Yamagata and Niigata, north of Tokyo, both of which face the Sea of Japan, the official said.

"We are 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.

Defence Secretary James Mattis sought patience from Asian nations reeling from President Donald Trump's "American First" policy moves, insisting that the USA would continue to expand its engagement in the region.

Mattis also discussed a resurgent terrorist threat in the Philippines and said the U.S.is helping to train, advise, assist, and help modernize the nation's forces.

China, North Korea's only major ally and main economic lifeline, has faced repeated calls to stop its errant neighbor as Kim Jong Un's regime progresses in building a nuclear arsenal and conducts frequent missile tests.

The speech came less than 36 hours after Trump announced his withdrawal from the 200-nation Paris climate change accord that he said disadvantaged the US.

Glossing over disagreements, the defense chiefs from Japan and France on Saturday welcomed USA leadership in the Asia-Pacific to manage the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and maintain regional peace.

The same Yonhap report said that North Korea "asserted" the newly accurate missile was meant to demonstrate North Korea's ability "to strike moving targets at sea with precision".

On Friday, Mattis spoke to reporters aboard his plane about "reinforcing the global order" while seeking a "peaceful, prosperous and free Asia"- echoing traditional US policy goals. On Tuesday, the USA successfully conducted a ballistic missile interceptor test.

"And I look forward to working with them to develop an Asia-Pacific stability initiative that complements the ongoing large-scale investment in our budget to improve and reinforce the us military's capabilities across the region", he said.

Some Asian officials say worries about Trump's direction have been fueled by his unpredictable personal approach to policymaking and emphasis on his chemistry with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While Trump has said he is confident that Chinese President Xi Jinping will "try very hard" to pressure North Korea, a Chinese trade partner, Mattis sounded less certain that that would happen.

Some U.S. officials acknowledge that Harris is playing a greater role to reassure allies, in part because a number of senior positions have not been filled by the Trump administration in the Pentagon and State Department. Other claimants include the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the (Spratly) Islands and their adjacent waters", Ms Hua said, referring to reefs and islets in the South China Sea where Beijing has built installations that could be used by its military.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, despite partial counter-claims from Taiwan and several Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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