Will maintain strong collaborative defensive stance on North Korea: Mattis
File photo: US defense secretary Jim Mattis. Photograph: (Reuters)
Amid fears over North Korea's intention to destroy its nuclear facilities, US defence secretary Jim Mattis said he will maintain a "strong collaborative defensive stance" on North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had earlier pledged to "denuclearise" the Korean Peninsula during his meeting with Trump in Singapore earlier this month.
"We're in the midst of very unprecedented negotiations right now with North Korea, but in this dynamic time, the longstanding alliance between Japan and the US stands firm," Mattis insisted.
"There is absolute reassurance between the two of us that we stand firm," he pledged.
Japan has repeatedly said North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons, similarly, South Korea which has been at the centre of peace initiative with its neighbour has also insisted on a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula while maintaining a balance with Kim's regime.
"We maintain a strong collaborative defensive stance, to ensure our diplomats continue to negotiate from a position of unquestioned strength," the US defence secretary said.
The Trump administration wants to ensure that Japan and South Korea do not let their guards down as talks of denuclearisation continue with US officials. As a step towards plasticating North Korea, President Trump had announced US armed forces wouldn't be carrying out drills close to Korean waters, a move aimed at "de-escalating" tensions on the Korean Peninsula.