Actions must follow China's words on North Korea, US defence secretary says

South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Cho Tae-yul speaks at a U.N. Security Council meeting following a unanimous adoption by the Council of a resolution to expand its North Korea blacklist after the Asian state`s repeated missile tests at the U

US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Saturday urged China to act against North Korea's nuclear programme and warned that Washington will not accept Beijing's militarization in the disputed South China Sea.

The comments by Mattis, during the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, show how U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is looking to balance working with China to restrain North Korea's advancing missile and nuclear programs while dealing with Beijing's activities in the South China Sea.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis turned up the heat on North Korea and its main benefactor, China, on Saturday, calling the North Koreans a "clear and present danger" and chastising the Chinese for coercive behavior in the South China Sea.

It is "imperative that we do our part each of us to fulfill our obligations and work together to support our shared goal of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula", Mattis said.

"We can not accept Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the global community, undermining the rules-based order that has benefited all countries represented here today", Mattis said.

Continued U.S. leadership in the region ensures "rules-based order" or freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the defense chiefs said.

For weeks, the United States has been negotiating with China on new measures to ratchet up the pressure on North Korea but Beijing has insisted on the need to open up dialogue.

"The last-ditch gambling of the Trump administration for a nuclear war will only bring earlier the day when the United States mainland will turn into ashes", said the spokesperson.

The UN security council unanimously passed a resolution with new sanctions against North Korea Friday after the regime launched its ninth ballistic missile test of the year. -China relations but added the two countries must "cooperate for mutual benefit".

For his part Mattis on Saturday pledged the United States would stay engaged on North Korea, calling Kim Jong Un regime's missile program "a clear and present danger". "That's where we have stood for some years and the one China policy holds".

Mattis cited Trump's trip to Brussels last month to meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders and 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.

Mattis sought to ease concerns for allies in the Asia-Pacific, saying the region was a priority and the primary effort was alliance building.

-Ri Yong Mu, vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, which directs and guide all military, defence and security-related affairs in the country, "including acquisitions and procurement".

"They (U.S.) are now bluffing, bragging about the "success" in the test and the efficiency of the missile interception system".

Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, a spokesman for Mattis, said in a statement that the secretary and the prime minister reaffirmed the "excellent and long-standing" bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Singapore, as underscored by the 1990 memorandum of understanding, the 2005 strategic framework agreement and the 2015 enhanced defense cooperation agreement. "We can not and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo."Without giving details, Mattis also said the United States would take further steps to protect the U.S. homeland.Earlier this week, the United States carried out a successful, first-ever missile defense test involving a simulated attack by an intercontinental ballistic missile, in a major milestone for a program meant to defend against a mounting North Korean threat".

Japanese Defence Minister Tomomi Inada later said she placed "full trust" in the United States, a sentiment echoed by Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne.

"Ultimately, we believe China will come to recognize North Korea as a strategic liability, not an asset".

Philippine troops have been battling rebels owing allegiance to Islamic State in a southern city for the last 12 days.

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