New US envoy, Abe vow to fortify alliance amid N. Korea threat

New US envoy, Abe vow to fortify alliance amid N. Korea threat

Hagerty said after the meeting that he is convinced Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump are on the same page on North Korea, which last week threatened to fire ballistic missiles across Japan to waters near the U.S. territory of Guam in the western Pacific.

"We would take immediate, specific actions to take it down", Mattis said in response to a question asked during a press conference in Washington following an annual high-level meeting of the US's and Japan's foreign and defence ministers, according to South Korean Yonhap News agency.

On the economy, Hagerty said that the USA will bolster its partnership with Japan and hopes to stimulate global economic growth and ensure job opportunities.

Fan Changlong, a vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, told the visiting US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford this week in Beijing that China believed the only effective way to resolve the North Korean issue was through talks.

"You've heard the words, you've seen the videos that they have produced", Tillerson said of North Korean threats to destroy the United States with nuclear weapons.

Plans are being expedited following two tests of what North Korea has claimed is its intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-14.

Tillerson reiterated the USA interest in resuming a long-stalled diplomatic dialogue with Pyongyang in an effort to stop its nuclear development. "So that is our effort, to cause them to want to engage in talks, but engage in talks with an understanding that these talks will lead to a different conclusion than talks of the past", he said.

Each nation gains security in concert with other nations, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said today at a meeting that he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted with their Japanese counterparts at the State Department.

The two leaders previously agreed Washington and Tokyo would strengthen their economic and defensive relationships, while also realigning USA forces in Japan to ensure their "long-term, sustainable presence".

One thing that the alliance has to work out is operational issues, said Dr Narushige Michishita from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

Dr Nishihara said Japan must first "have a much stronger retaliatory capability, in case of the opponent's strong retaliation".

The United States and South Korea will go ahead with joint military drills next week, the top USA military official said on Thursday, resisting pressure from North Korea and its ally China to halt the contentious exercises. The drill, known as Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, takes place in South Korea. "The US and Japan have not really agreed on how to operate together in a military contingency and so this must be planned in detail", he said. Trump welcomed the delay as "very wise".

Kono called on the North's traditional ally and main trading partner, China, to take actions "to make North Korea change its behavior".