US mindful of Japan’s interests in talks with N. Korea – Mattis

During a stop in Tokyo, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to reassure Japan on Friday that Washington was mindful of its interests in talks with North Korea. Japan’s defense establishment was taken aback by the US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to halt “expensive” military exercises with South Korea that have long been seen in Tokyo as a deterrent to Pyongyang’s threats, Reuters said. Mattis reaffirmed the US goal of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. He said the US-Japan alliance “stands firm” and undiminished by US-North Korea talks.