S. Korea, US defense ministers agree to closely coordinate against NK threats

S. Korea, US defense ministers agree to closely coordinate against NK threats”

In 2005, North Korea reached an agreement with six countries to suspend its nuclear program in return for diplomatic rewards and energy assistance but the deal later collapsed. "I think we have made it clear to North Korea and anyone else in the region that an attack on one is an attack on both of us".

The conference ended with a strong statement condemning North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests, but US officials have had to repeatedly reassure allies that Trump does not intend to escalate an already precarious standoff.

He said that the path of provocations and threats chosen by North Korea was not in the best interests of any nation.

Japan is likely to increase its defense spending at a faster pace in its next five-year plan from April 2019 than the annual 0.8 percent average rise in its current mid-term plan, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Officials in Tokyo have said they will test emergency alert loudspeakers in nine prefectures today.

Just last week, the communist regime threatened to fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan into waters near the US territory of Guam. "In this case, it is meant to defend Japan against DPRK missiles".

The meetings took place after Stephen K. Bannon, Trump's strategic advisor, told a magazine that there was no military solution to the North Korea problem.

Military drills involving tens of thousands of USA and South Korean troops are due to begin on Monday.

Earlier this week, North Korea appeared to put a hold on its threat to attack Guam, saying it would wait to assess "the foolish and stupid conduct" of the United States before launching any missiles.

Like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployed in South Korea, the Aegis program would not be able to intercept longer range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched at the North Korea.

Defence Secretary Mattis said that the United States would take immediate specific actions in the event of a missile launch towards United States or its allies.

General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held talks with his Japanese counterpart at the defence ministry in Tokyo, wrapping up a regional tour during heightened tensions with North Korea.

"We are prepared, we are prepared militarily, we are prepared with our allies to respond, if that is necessary. In light of the threat of North Korea, the four of us confirmed the importance of the unwavering USA commitment to extend the deterrence", he added.

"China believes that dialogue and consultations are the only effective avenue to resolve the peninsula issue, and that military means can not become an option", Fan said, according to China's Defence Ministry.

Japan and the USA also agreed to work together on a host of other issues, including space communications, cyber security, and improved information sharing with other countries affected by the North's developing weapons programs.

The new equipment, known as Aegis Ashore, will be a land-based version of the Aegis missile defence system. On Twitter, Mr Trump called the move "a very wise and well reasoned decision".

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