World Asia 04 Jun 2017 Beijing can help tam ...

Beijing can help tame North Korea, says US

AGENCIES
Published Jun 4, 2017, 2:57 am IST
Updated Jun 4, 2017, 2:57 am IST
President Donald Trump — who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail — has turned to Beijing to help pressure Pyongyang.
James Mattis
 James Mattis

Pentagon chief James Mattis moved to reassure Asian allies on Saturday that the United States can work with China on reining in North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme without compromising its opposition to Beijing’s continued “militarisation” of the South China Sea.

President Donald Trump — who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail — has turned to Beijing to help pressure Pyongyang, prompting broad concerns that America will go easy on China’s maritime activities. “In the security arena, we have a deep and abiding commitment to reinforcing the rules-based international order, a product of so many nations’ efforts to create stability,” Gen. Mattis said in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a major defence summit for countries from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.’

 

“Bear with us,” he told a ballroom packed with defense ministers and military officers from at least 22 different countries. “Once we’ve exhausted all possible alternatives, the Americans will do the right thing. We will still be there,” he said.

North Korea is accelerating its push to acquire a nuclear-armed missile capable of threatening the US and other nations, and the US regards this as a “clear and present danger,” he said.

Meanwhile, glossing over disagreements, the defense chiefs from Japan and France welcomed US leadership in the Asia-Pacific to manage the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and maintain regional peace. Gen. Mattis avoided answering was repeatedly asked about Mr Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris pact.    

 

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