United Nations slaps sanctions on NKorean officials

China's claims in the South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

"China has always worked to maintain, build and contribute to global and regional peace and has firmly followed the path of peaceful development although it is faced with multiple security challenges", He said.

"Whatever sanctions and pressure may follow, we will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces which was chosen to defend the sovereignty of the country and the rights to national existence and will move forward towards the final victory", a foreign ministry spokesman told the state-run KCNA news agency, according to Reuters.

Mattis added that the United States is "working with China on North Korea because that is also a problem for China".

President Donald Trump - who frequently denounced China on the campaign trail - has turned to Beijing to help rein in North Korea's weapons program, prompting concerns among Asian allies that America might go easy on the South China Sea issue.

The 15-member council, including China and Russian Federation, unanimously voted to impose sanctions on North Korea.

The biggest question amongst Asian delegates attending the forum has been how much of a role the USA will continue to play in this increasingly tense region, the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Singapore reports. He also urged China to continue efforts to tamp down North Korea's missile and nuclear activities.

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved adding 14 North Korean individuals and four North Korean companies or organizations to its blacklist over the country's weapons program. -China relations, saying that while competition between the two countries "is bound to occur, conflict is not inevitable". She also said that European navies should have a visible presence in the region in order to discourage North Korea from striking its neighbors.

Mattis cited Trump's trip to Brussels last month to meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders and the defense secretary himself going to Japan and South Korea within days of taking office as examples of how the United States is still involved on a world stage.

"China and other regional partners should also step up their efforts to help solve this security situation, which threatens not just that region, but really presents a threat to the entire world", Tillerson told reporters in Sydney after a meeting between the Australian and USA foreign and defense ministers.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that all options are on the table to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons, leaving open the possibility of pre-emptive military action. The Pentagon's role, he said, is to reinforce alliances, strengthen US military capabilities to deter war in Asia and help enable countries to sustain their own security.

The U.S. military this week successfully tested a defense system created to shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in midair.

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