Japan and US set framework for economic talks

Faith Castro
April 19, 2017

The official said Pence, whose president recently held a summit and telephone talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, told Abe the United States believes China fully understands the issue and will take action that will lead to further pressure on North Korea.

While most believe North Korea's missile technology is presently incapable of reaching the USA mainland, the regime does pose a serious threat to South Korea, Japan and other nations in the region.

The U.S. Navy this month struck a Syrian airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles after a chemical weapons attack.

The US and South Korea have activated the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, which is capable of intercepting incoming warheads from North Korea.

"Japan and the United States can play a pivotal role in spreading high-level fair [trade] rules over Asia and the Pacific region", he said.

After 25 years of trying to deal patiently with North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions, Pence said, "all options are on the table" to deal with threat.

The probability of Aegis interceptors missing a North Korean target would be embarrassing for the United States and embolden Pyongyang. Cha noted Pence's reference to "strategic patience", an Obama administration strategy in which diplomatic and economic pressure from sanctions were given time to change the North's behavior.

Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with South Korean acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated US response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.

His economic discussions will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade. They say it fails to take into account the complex patterns of global trade, pointing out that the USA has run big deficits during periods of strong economic growth.

President Trump denied he's softened his position on China to gain its help in curbing North Korea's increasing military provocations.

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The Pentagon has not discussed which missile blew up after the North's launch on Sunday from a base near Sinpo on its east coast, and the White House has said only that it was a medium-range device.

The U.S. will not relent until it achieves its objective of ensuring the Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons, Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday while visiting Japan. It has repeatedly called for talks while appearing increasingly frustrated with the North.

After the deal was made, the America's chief negotiator with North Korea, Robert L. Gallucci, said that the US got everything it wanted in the deal.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: China ready to work "with all relevant countries".

At the outset of their meeting, Pence reiterated to Abe his statement in South Korea that the United States has run out of patience with Pyongyang's moves.

"The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he said. "We have to be honest about where our trade relationship is falling short", said Pence, adding the Trump administration would work with businesses on reforms.

The Trump administration is focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

North Korea put its military might on show during Saturday's massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un in the capital Pyongyang.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, it has escalated a war of words, warning of full-out nuclear war if Washington takes military action against it.

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