Mattis vows ‘strong defensive stance’ despite US-SKorea drill halt

Tokyo (AFP) – Washington will maintain a “strong” defensive stance with its regional allies despite halting military exercises with Seoul as it negotiates with North Korea, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Friday.

“We maintain a strong collaborative defensive stance, to ensure our diplomats continue to negotiate from a position of unquestioned strength,” Mattis said after talks with his Japanese counterpart on the third leg of a regional trip.