These partners include China, with Mattis saying that the Trump administration is encouraged by its " renewed commitment to work with the worldwide community toward de-nuclearization, " adding that he believed China will eventually see North Korea as a strategic liability and not an asset given its propensity for inciting disharmony.
The defense chief spoke directly to concerns that America might grant concessions to China in order to ensure its cooperation on North Korea, saying the issue was not "binary" and that the United States would continue to pressure Beijing elsewhere.
The ministry said no matter what sanctions and pressure may follow, the North will not halt its pursuit of strengthened nuclear forces and continue to move forward toward the final victory.
"Countries must also do more to break up North Korean smuggling rings, and cut off the sources of funding North Korea uses to pay for the development of weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them", she said in a statement.
The U.N. Security Council expanded its sanctions against North Korea on Friday, penalizing the country for its repeated missile tests this year.
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Tensions between North Korea and the USA have ratcheted up in an escalating exchange of rhetoric since President Trump took office in January.
More specifically, Mattis sought to ease concerns for allies in the Asia-Pacific, saying the region was a priority and the primary effort was alliance building.
"Individual countries maintain their security through exclusive military alliances, base their security on other countries' insecurity and do not hesitate to stir up conflict and provoke trouble". "We will still be there", he said.
"All states involved in territorial disagreements in the South China Sea need to adhere to the principle of the non-use of force", he said.
In a warning to China, the defense secretary expressed his intention to maintain the "freedom of navigation" operation - maritime patrols by USA military vessels and other ships - in South China Sea waterways.
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Those tests include a missile capable of reaching "the US mainland and Pacific operation region" - according to North Korea's state news agency, at least.
Slamming the United States" successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) interceptor system defense test, North Korea on Saturday said that the country is showing signs of unleashing a nuclear war while calling it a "serious military provocation' on the part of the US.
"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 including, and especially, China", he told some 500 delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue which focus on defence and security.
- The U.S. will not accept China's militarisation of man-made islands in the South China Sea, Defence Secretary James Mattis has warned, BBC News reports.
The United States was training and advising troops in the south of the Philippines, he added. He insisted that the United States will "still be there", noting that the Trump administration will pursue "a fresh approach" while asking for patience from regional allies.
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