WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2018 — Defense Secretary James N. Mattis spoke with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera yesterday to discuss a range of issues related to the U.S.-Japan alliance, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, Dana W. White, said in a statement following the call.
Mattis and Onodera “condemned North Korea’s reckless and unlawful behavior,” White said. “They discussed the importance of maximizing pressure on North Korea so it changes its path, refrains from provocative and threatening actions and makes a strategic decision to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.”
The defense secretary described the North Korean threat as a global problem, she said, and the two officials underscored the importance of garnering international support and cooperating with multinational partners on the pressure campaign.
Mattis reaffirmed the U.S. commitments to Japan’s defense and pledged to work closely with Onodera to bolster critical alliance capabilities, White said.