SINGAPORE (AP) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the United States regards North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons a "clear and present danger." In remarks at an international security conference in Singapore, Mattis says the Trump administration is encouraged by China's renewed commitment to ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons.
Mattis also has sharp criticism for China. He says China is showing a disregard for international law by militarizing artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea. Yet Mattis offers a positive and helpful tone for cooperation and peace in the Asia-Pacific region. He says conflict between the U.S. and China is not inevitable even if there is competition between the nations. Mattis says the U.S. will pledge to work closely with China where the nations share common cause.