U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis presses China on North Korea, South China Sea

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, right, meets U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a bilateral meeting at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore on Friday, June 2, 2017. (Source: AP)

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U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis said on Saturday that the United States was encouraged by China’s efforts to restrain North Korea but that Washington would not accept Beijing’s militarisation of islands in the South China Sea. Mattis made the comments during the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. He said the threat from North Korea was “clear and present” and that Pyongyang had increased its pace of pursuing nuclear weapons.

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