Washington, Pentagon. With an unprecedented third aircraft carrier headed for Korea, the world holds its breath as the US Defense establishment rattles its sabres in the showdown, not just with North Korea this time, but with China too.
While team United States is encouraged by China’s efforts to restrain North Korea, Washington will not accept Beijing’s militarization of islands in the South China Sea, US defence secretary, James Mattis, said on Saturday creating a whole new concern that America is sending three aircraft carriers off Korea as a message not only to Kim Jong-Un’s Korea, but now China is in the Pentagon’s sights.
The comments by Mattis in Singapore, show how Donald Trump’s administration is looking to hamper China and restrain North Korea’s advancing missile and nuclear program any way it can. General Mattis said the danger from North Korea was “clear and present” and that Pyongyang had increased its pace of pursuing nuclear weapons.
The United States has struggled to slow North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, which have become a security priority given Pyongyang’s vow to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland. Mattis said seeking China’s cooperation on North Korea did not mean Washington would not challenge Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea.
As a sign of the US commitment to the region, Mattis said that soon about 60% of overseas tactical aviation assets would be assigned to the region and he would work with the US Congress on an Asia-Pacific stability initiative. Mattis said the United States did not accept China placing weapons and other military assets on man-made islands in the South China Sea.
Mattis concluded, “We oppose countries militarising artificial islands and enforcing excessive maritime claims,” Mattis said. “We cannot and will not accept unilateral, coercive changes to the status quo.“ Analysts were left wondering if given the United States is unilaterally-coercively changing Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, North Korea, Iran and Ukraine-will anybody call out the USA on their destruction of peace globally?