Britain's defense secretary said Saturday that his country's military will continue monitoring North Korean vessels suspected of carrying prohibited goods as it is "vitally important" that his country helps enforce international sanctions.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international security conference in Singapore, Gavin Williamson said the "prosperity and security" of the region is important for Britain's own security.

British warships have been deployed in waters near Japan to police U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

Williamson said sending those resources was "very much within Britain's DNA and something that we are obliged and we're very happy to do."

"As a permanent member of the Security Council, it is vitally important that we play a role in policing and ensuring that the decisions made in the United Nations are properly upheld," he added.

The Shangri-La Dialogue, which ends Sunday, is being attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, defense officials and academics from 43 countries.