Mattis vows 'immediate, specific' actions to intercept NK missile

Mattis vows 'immediate, specific' actions to intercept NK missile

Tensions around Pyongyang's missile program have flared up in the recent weeks, following the adoption of the UN Security Council sanctions, which led to North Korea trading threats and warnings with the United States.

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said that the military alliance between his country and Japan was rock solid and reaffirmed the US' commitment towards the defence of its allies.

"Both Secretary Mattis and Minister Song reiterated the importance of the US-ROK (Republic of Korea) Alliance and expressed their commitment to build a stronger partnership based on mutual trust and cooperation", White said.

"This is a very important time for security in the region and of course we are mostly focused on the threat coming out of North Korea", Dunford said.

Tillerson and USA defense secretary Jim Mattis sought to present a united front on Thursday, speaking to reporters alongside their Japanese counterparts following talks. They agreed that North Korea's missile launches, including two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in July, are "unacceptable provocations" that "must stop immediately". Given the magnitude of the threat posed by the North's weapons development, he said any diplomatic effort "has to be backed by a strong military outcome if North Korea chooses wrongly". "The US and Japan have not really agreed on how to operate together in a military contingency and so this must be planned in detail", he said.

At the start of Thursday's meeting, Tillerson shook Thornton's hand after greeting the Japanese visitors - a gesture that State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment publicly, said Tillerson went out of his way to do in an effort to demonstrate his confidence in the career diplomat.

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Tillerson has not ruled out the possibility of holding talks with Pyongyang.

"Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about, there's no military solution here, they got us", Bannon was quoted as saying.

On the economy, Hagerty said that the US will bolster its partnership with Japan and hopes to stimulate global economic growth and ensure job opportunities.

For now, Japan plans to increase its ballistic missile defense.

"As long as the threat in North Korea exists, we need to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to that threat", Dunford told reporters in Beijing after meeting his Chinese counterparts. The drill, known as Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, takes place in South Korea.

Japan has remained a loyal sidekick to the U.S. on North Korea, exhibiting no dismay about Mr Trump's "fire and fury" comments, even as other other world leaders balked at the warlike rhetoric.

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