US defence secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday discussed with his new Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan the emerging threat from North Korea, which has threatened to hit American bases in Hawaii and Guam.
"The secretary emphasised the growing threat to the US and our allies posed by North Korea's aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and expressed to General Chang the importance of sustained US-China dialogue and cooperation on these issues," Pentagon press secretary George Little said after the telephonic call between the two leaders.
Congratulating General Chang on his new position, Hagel said that he looks forward to hearing the results of chairman of the joint chiefs of staff General Marty Dempsey's trip to China later this month and invited Chang to visit the US to continue senior level military-to-military onsultations.
Little said the two leaders expressed their intention to work together to continue to build military-to-military ties that serves the vision of the president of the US and China.
"The secretary discussed the importance of focusing on areas of sustained dialogue, practical areas of cooperation, and risk reducing measures," Little said.
Earlier, Hagel and deputy secretary of defense Ashton Carter met with Albert Del Rosario, Philippines secretary of foreign affairs at the Pentagon.
"The secretary said he was pleased with the progress being made toward an increased rotational presence for the US military in the Philippines," Little said.
"They discussed US capacity building to support the armed forces of the Philippines modernisation plans and regional security issues including the South China Sea, recent violence in Sabah, and North Korea," he added.