U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis And Pacific Region Defense Ministers Discuss North Korean Threat
July 7, 2017 — During phone calls yesterday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed the July 4 North Korean test intercontinental ballistic missile launch with defense ministers representing South Korea, Japan and Malaysia, Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White said in issued statements.
In Mattis’ telephone conversation with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo, both leaders strongly condemned North Korea’s missile test, agreeing that this reckless provocation poses a threat to security and stability both in the region and to the broader international community, White said.
Mattis reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to the U.S.-South Korea alliance and the United States’ extended deterrence commitments to South Korea, which include the full range of U.S. capabilities, she added.
The two leaders agreed to continue close consultation and coordination on responses to the North Korean threat, White said.
In Mattis’ conversation with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, the two leaders both agreed that the July 4 North Korean missile test represents an escalation and unacceptable provocation that undermines regional security and stability, White said.
White said Mattis and Inada affirmed that the United States and Japan would continue to coordinate closely, along with South Korea, to strengthen deterrence and defense cooperation to maintain peace and security in Northeast Asia.
In Mattis’ conversation with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, the two leaders discussed security challenges, including North Korea and terrorism, and their nations’ close bilateral defense cooperation, White said.
Mattis and Hishammuddin also discussed the need to increase regional counterterrorism cooperation in order to stem the threat posed by groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, White said.
Mattis expressed appreciation for the broad range of U.S.-Malaysia security cooperation and emphasized continued cooperation and exercises to address common security challenges, she said.
[Source: U.S. DoD -/- Media Relations]
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