Japan holds evacuation drill amid tension from N. Korea

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Giugno 6, 2017

It came less than a week after the nuclear-armed North test-fired a short-range projectile which fell provocatively close to Japan, its 12th ballistic missile test this year - in defiance of United Nations sanctions warnings and USA threats of possible military action.

To that end, Mattis said in his speech that the United States wouldn't allow smaller Asian nations to become bargaining chips. We desire productive relationships, but we can not allow China to use its economic power to buy its way out of other problems, whether it's militarising islands in the South China Sea or failing to put appropriate pressure on North Korea.

North Korea has been increasing the number of its missile test launches in recent months, launching 12 so far this year and three last month, with many splashing into the Sea of Japan, some inside Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends up to 200 miles from its shores.

Addressing the South China Sea conflict, Mr Fomin chose his words carefully.

Mr Fomin spoke at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an worldwide security conference in Singapore attended by defence ministers and experts from 39 countries, including US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

Mattis was repeatedly asked about Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate pact. But he provided no specifics and said it was part of a mandate pressed by the US Congress.

"I would have liked Secretary Mattis to say unequivocally, as the former administration did, that the United States has top national interests in the South China Sea and that defence of its interests in the South China Sea would not be sacrificed at the altar of its interest, say, in getting cooperation from China on North Korea", she said.

"While competition between the US and China, the world's two largest economies, is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable", Mattis said.

China has reclaimed thousands of acres of land on reefs in the South China Sea, adding airstrips, lighthouses and port facilities to better project influence over the waterway.

The initiative in the Sulu Sea, an area bounded by the Malaysian state of Sabah and the southern Philippines, is a "collective agreement that is followed by the operational level", Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said Sunday. An Australian questioner asked, in light of Trump's abandonment of an worldwide trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and his withdrawal from the Paris climate deal, "why should we not fret that we are present at the destruction of" a global rules-based order? "And we will be with you". China's disregard for worldwide law.

Global pressure ramped up on Pyongyang Friday as the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on 18 North Korean officials and entities.

Mattis told reporters he would talk about the "international order" needed for a peaceful Asia, a reference to countering North Korea, when he addressed the forum on Saturday.

On Friday, Mattis spoke to reporters aboard his plane about "reinforcing the worldwide order" while seeking a "peaceful, prosperous and free Asia"- echoing traditional US policy goals.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who spoke at the opening of the forum on Friday evening, said there was concern in the region that the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris climate accord would lead to Washington retreating from global leadership.

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