US, Japan To Deepen Security Cooperation In Light Of N Korea Threat

Mattis Repudiates Bannon's Claims on North Korea

Mattis Repudiates Bannon's Claims on North Korea

Japan's defensive upgrades will include the deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, part of a U.S. Missile Defense Agency program created to counter intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).

Dunford added that the USA reaffirmed its "ironclad commitment" to the security of Japan on Thursday when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.

WASHINGTON | America's diplomatic and defense chiefs sought Thursday to reinforce the threat of possible US military action against North Korea after President Donald Trump's top strategist essentially called the commander-in-chief's warnings a bluff.

In U.S. -Japan defense and diplomatic talks, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Washington would take immediate and specific actions to take down any missile launched by North Korea toward the territory of the U.S. or its allies.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the talks in Washington on Thursday (yesterday, Singapore time): "The US will honour our treaty agreements with Japan without reservation, in times of peace or in the face of conflict".

Tensions have risen after North Korea conducted two missile tests in July and has since threatened to launch a missile strike at Guam.

The four officials have strongly encouraged China to take decisive measures to urge North Korea to change its course of action.

Guterres spoke by telephone with Deputy Ambassador Kim In Ryong on Tuesday, the North Korean mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Thursday.

"(With) ROK (South Korea), Australia, India and Southeast Asian countries, we will promote more than ever before cooperation in security and defence", Kono said in Japanese which was translated into English.

Tillerson and USA defense secretary Jim Mattis sought to present a united front on Thursday, speaking to reporters alongside their Japanese counterparts following talks.

Tensions in East Asia have risen in recent weeks.

During a separate meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Dunford called the Japan-US military relationship "rock solid".

"This kind of threat has to be backed by a strong military outcome if North Korea chooses wrongly", Tillerson added. Much of it involves computer-based simulations. "We're prepared militarily, we're prepared with our allies, to respond if that is necessary", said Tillerson.

Fan Changlong, a vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told the visiting US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford this week in Beijing that China believed the only effective way to resolve the North Korean issue was through talks. Trump welcomed the delay as "very wise".

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