Mattis Returns From Asia, Resets for NATO Summit in Brussels

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis has just returned from a trip to China, South Korea and Japan and is immediately immersing himself in preparations for attending the NATO Summit in Brussels next week, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters today.

The secretary will advise President Donald J. Trump during the summit. Mattis will then travel to Croatia and Norway, Army Col. Rob Manning said during a weekly gaggle with reporters.

The secretary has visited the Indo-Pacific region seven times during his tenure. During his latest visit, he stressed the need for “strategic transparency” with Chinese leaders. “The leaders discussed a broad range of defense issues and the importance of substantive military-to-military contacts to reduce risk and strategic uncertainty,” the colonel said.

Mattis and Chinese leaders also reaffirmed the need for the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Manning said. During his meetings, Mattis also stressed the United States would continue to sail and fly wherever international rules allow.

Following his trip to Beijing, the secretary journeyed to Seoul and Tokyo to brief South Korean and Japanese leaders on the discussions.

Turkey’s Joint Strike Fighters

Manning also discussed Turkey’s two F-35 Lightning IIs, which have arrived at Luke Air Force Base,…

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