US signals policy decision soon on Russian arms treaty allegations

J Company 42 Commando on a raid in Helmand Province Afghanistan

J Company 42 Commando on a raid in Helmand Province Afghanistan

Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday that North Korea's behavior as "reckless" and that has to be stopped immediately.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon will join his United States counterpart Jim Mattis in insisting more allies must move towards the target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, when they meet for talks in London.

In response to Mattis, Alexey Pushkov, a senior Russian lawmaker, tweeted, "New US administration sounds just like the old one -- Mattis is indistinguishable from (former Defense Secretary Ash) Carter, Tillerson is talking about 'Russian aggression.' (Barack) Obama and (Hillary) Clinton must be happy".

Mattis also said that North Korea was acting in a reckless manner and must be stopped.

Making clear Britain stood behind the USA on their belief that all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members should pay their fair share into the alliance, British Defence Secretary Fallon said Britain and the US would work together to make "our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance fitter and faster".

But in his conference with General Mattis at Lancaster House, he stressed Britain's military budget was growing every year and remains the largest among European Nato states.

"This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability", Mattis said, alluding to the North's recent progress in building nuclear bombs and developing an intercontinental ballistic missile to deliver such weapons to US soil.

General Mattis said the U.S. was attempting to diplomatically carve out room for manoeuvre so "Russia can change its behaviour and act in accordance with global norms and worldwide law".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen three nuclear tests and conducted more missile tests in the past four years than in the rest of the country's history.

Fallon said that post-Brexit "it is in both our interests to bolster this partnership" between Britain and the United States "when our security is more fragile than at any time since the end of the Cold War".

When the West does engage with Moscow, he added, "we need to be wary of what Russian Federation is up to".

Responding to previous allegations by Sir Fallon that Russia's behaviour was becoming more "assertive and arrogant", the embassy in London dismissed his remarks as a "strong of unfounded accusations".

On Syria, which has been wracked by years of civil and IS' insurgency, Mattis said the USA government is "working this one day at a time".

"Daesh has every intention of striking externally from the region and that immediate threat goes to Europe", Mattis said in response to a question about US policy regarding Assad, using an Arabic name for ISIS.

"What we are looking at is the way in which our armed forces work, the different tasks that they have and we are constantly looking to see that they are fit for objective in what we do".

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. "We are doing so right now".

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