Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Japan holds evacuation drill amid tension from N. Korea

Japan holds evacuation drill amid tension from N. Korea

Mattis said seeking China's cooperation on North Korea did not mean Washington would not challenge Beijing's activities in the South China Sea.

It also said the country "will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces" and vowed to continue to carry out ballistic missile launches "until the moment when the US and its followers are brought to reason about the root cause and a solution to the nuclear issue".

Mattis cited Trump's trip to Brussels last month to meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders as well as the defense secretary himself going to Japan and South Korea within days of taking office as examples of how the United States is still involved on a world stage. All major cooperation programs between the rivals remain stalled amid an worldwide standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"Since the event is being held in the North, we chose to respect their opinions and made a decision to hold it in Pyongyang", the committee said.

China, which sent only a low-key delegation to the forum, said its ties with the United States were vital for the region. "And we will be with you".

North Korea blamed the United States and China for "railroading and enforcing" the sanctions resolution at the UN Security Council "after having drafted it in the backroom at their own pleasure".

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

We "travel to the region to meet with our counterparts and talk about all the issues that are important to them and hear from them concerns about where the (Trump) administration is positioned". "We must stand shoulder to shoulder to intensify pressure on North Korea".

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, speaking at the Singapore forum, said Tokyo backed the United States using any option to deal with North Korea, including military strikes, and was seeking a deeper alliance with Washington.

Answering a question on Trump's apparent turn to isolationism, Tillerson said that his visit "demonstrates that it certainly is not this administration's view or intention to somehow put at arm's length the important partners and allies in the world".

"Artificial island construction and indisputable militarisation of facilities on features in worldwide waters undermine regional stability", Mattis said, calling China out over its "disregard for global law" and "contempt for other nations' interests".

China claims most of the South China Sea, disregarding the territorial sovereignty of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to add 15 individuals and four entities linked to North Korea's nuclear and missile programs to a U.N. sanctions blacklist.

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