Tensions have risen after North Korea conducted two missile tests in July and has since threatened to launch a missile strike at Guam.
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Mattis reaffirmed the ironclad US commitment to defend South Korea and emphasized the military's role in providing extended deterrence, she added, and expressed his commitment to the ongoing diplomatic effort to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
"In light of the threat of North Korea, the four of us confirmed the importance of the unwavering USA commitment to extended deterrence", Onodera said.
Bannon's comments in his interview with The American Prospect appeared to call bluff on Trump's tough talk to North Korea last week.
"Strengthening the alliance will enhance the deterrence against North Korea, but will not be effective in directly leading to an abandonment of its nuclear program", a senior Foreign Ministry official said.
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Japan will "augment its defense capabilities" while Washington "remains committed to deploying its most advanced capabilities to Japan", the State Department said.
Pyongyang's deputy U.N. ambassador told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this week that its nuclear weapons program will never be up for negotiation as long as the US government's "hostile policy and nuclear threat continue". "And that the future that they will face with that level of isolation is bleak and will only become bleaker".
The threat posed by North Korea was discussed by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, Defence Secretary James Mattis and his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera. On Monday, he signed an executive order instructing the U.S. Trade Representative's Office to study whether to launch an investigation into China's infringement of intellectual property rights and others, based on Section 301 of the Trade Act.
Dunford added that the U.S. reaffirmed its "ironclad commitment" to the security of Japan on Thursday when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.
But Pyongyang views them as a highly provocative rehearsal for an invasion of its own territory, and threatens strong military counteraction each year. North Korea has yet to issue a response to the proposal.
"This effort is a big step in strengthening Guam, as part of the Marianas strategic hub, ensuring the Marine Corps' ability to sustain a forward presence within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region", Lt. Gen. David Berger, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, said in a statement.
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