Mattis will discuss the situation around North Korea with Asian colleagues

The head of the Pentagon began a weeklong tour of Asia, during which he will participate in the meeting of defense Ministers of ASEAN countries in the Philippines

AREA CLARK FREEPORT, PHILIPPINES – the US defence Secretary Jim Mattis will discuss with Asian allies, North Korea and the crisis caused by the “reckless” provocations of Pyongyang. The Pentagon chief said on Monday, starting a weeklong tour of the region, during which he will meet with the heads of defense agencies in the Philippines.

Asian tour Mattis, which takes place a few weeks before the first visit to the region President Donald trump, will also include stops in Thailand and South Korea.

Trump was involved in a verbal battle with North Korean leader Kim Jong-UN, whom he calls a “rocket” going to commit suicide, because of his open aspirations to the creation of a missile with a nuclear warhead, able to strike at US.

In his speech at the UN in September, trump has threatened, if necessary, to destroy North Korea to protect the United States and its allies. In turn, Kim Jong-UN called trump’s “mentally ill” person.

It is expected that Mattis, who stresses the importance of diplomacy on Monday to hold separate meetings with Japanese and South Korean counterparts, after which all three Ministers will hold a joint meeting. From Monday to Wednesday, he will participate in the meeting of defense Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which takes place in the Philippines. Later this week he will travel to Seoul to continue talks on defense issues.

“I will talk with my colleagues, to discuss the crisis in regional security caused by the reckless provocations of the DPRK. I will also discuss our respect for common values such as the sovereignty of States, their territorial integrity, freedom of navigation in international waters historically, fair and reciprocal trade,” said Mattis told reporters.

Last week, the American destroyer passed near the Islands in the South China sea, which China claims to support freedom of navigation. This maneuver sparked outrage in Beijing.

The November tour trump will include a visit to China, from which he wants more action to curb missile and nuclear programs of North Korea. China is a neighbor and largest trading partner of the DPRK.

While in the Philippines, Mattis said he wants to pay tribute to the military won a victory over the militants in the city of Marawi on Mindanao island.

Some experts see the siege prelude to more ambitious attempts of the supporters of the “Islamic state” take advantage of the poverty in Mindanao and to use the jungles and mountains of the island as a training base for the recruitment and organization of attacks in the region.

“It was a fierce fight,” Mattis said, adding that the Philippines had sent a “much-needed message to the terrorists.”

Thursday Mattis will lead the U.S. delegation in Thailand at the ceremony of cremation of the late his Majesty king Bhumibol was Adulyadej.