North Korea Threat Grown to Critical And Imminent Level: Japan

North Korea Threat Grown to Critical And Imminent Level: Japan”

Tension has been high on the divided Korean peninsula for months with Pyongyang staging its sixth nuclear test and launching two ICBMs that apparently brought much of the USA mainland into range.

THAAD is an anti-missile system created to destroy incoming ballistic missiles in their reentry stage.

Mattis expressed his appreciation for the broad range of U.S. -ASEAN security cooperation and encouraged increased operational cooperation on common maritime security challenges, White said. Mattis instead emphasised a unified US-Japan-South Korea position in pressuring the North to give up its nuclear programme. He said defense ministers bring a special perspective to the problem.

The three sides will issue a joint press statement to sum up the results of their discussions, he added. On the other side, Mattis renewed sharp criticism of North Korea's tests saying that they "threaten regional and global security".

The US will have to "put up" with the reality that Pyongyang possesses nuclear weapons, Choe Son-hui, director-general of the North American department of the North's foreign ministry, told a nonproliferation conference in Moscow last week.

The US has responded by sabre-rattling and a barrage of rhetoric.

South Korean defense officials say that the North apparently has both "technological needs" and political motivation to carry out additional provocations.

The ministers committed to continue efforts to backstop the worldwide community's efforts to curb North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs and their means of delivery, the statement said. Onodera sounded the alarm on North Korea's growing nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities and endorsed Washington's view to consider "all options" on the table. Mattis was somewhat more reserved in his remarks, although he did slam Pyongyang for defying UN Security Council resolutions against its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The U.S., Japan and South Korea have issued a statement condemning, in the strongest terms, North Korea's continued provocative actions including North Korea's two recent missile launches that overflew Japan and its September 3, 2017 nuclear test.

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan had their previous tripartite defense ministerial talks in Singapore in early June, when they participated in the Asia Security Summit, better known as the Shanggri-La Dialogue.

Some member states are seeking to hold the meeting each year.

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