Japan and U.S. committed to ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons of mass destruction: Mattis

Vastavam web: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday said that Tokyo and Washington stood firm in their common goal of ending North Korea’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, including all its ballistic missiles. “Our objective remains the complete, irreversible and verifiable dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” Mattis said at a press briefing after meeting Japan’s defence minister Itsunori Onodera in Tokyo. At that meeting Kim repeated Pyongyang’s commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, falling short of the complete verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation that Japan, the U.S and other countries had earlier pressed.

Trump in return agreed to halt large scale military drills with neighbouring South Korea during denuclearisation talks with North Korea. On Thursday in Seoul Mattis, who is on the last stop of a trip to Asia that also included China and South Korea, defended Trump’s decision to halt “war games,” saying it would help diplomats negotiate. In Tokyo Mattis assured Japan that their military alliance remained firm during negotiations with Pyongyang.

“We’re in the midst of very unprecedented negotiations right now with North Korea. But in this dynamic time, the longstanding alliance between Japan and the United States stands firm,” he said. Japan, which hosts some 50,000 U.S. military personnel, including the biggest overseas concentration of U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier strike group, relies on the Washington for its defence.