During Visit to Asia, Pence Warns North Korea and Reassures Japan

20 April, 2017, 11:27 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • North Korea Deputy United Nations Ambassador Kim In Ryong speaks to the media at the UN

United States officials claimed the military are considering shooting any further launches out of the sky. North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has repeatedly threatened to keep testing missiles.

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President Donald Trump in Washington and Pence at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea have signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions.

Mr Mattis did not identify the type of missile but said it was not of intercontinental range, meaning it could not reach USA territory.

As they sat down for talks, Mr Pence told Mr Aso: "When President Trump agreed to this dialogue, he envisioned this as a mechanism for enhancing bilateral commercial relations between the United States and Japan, and achieving results in the near future".

Blasting Kim's rockets would be a message to Pyongyang to abandon its nuke-mad ambitions.

Speaking from the deck of the aircraft carrier "USS Ronald Reagan", docked in Yokosuka, Japan, Pence told 2,500 American sailors that North Korea is "the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific".

Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem".

The high-level talks were the first of their kind since the United States, under the Trump administration, backed out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement that would have seen Japan and the U.S.as the two largest economies involved.

He added: "But I would be concerned he would feel the need to react strongly, as he would not want to appear weak".

"I think unpredictability may have some potential benefits in dealing with North Korea, but there are also risks", said Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the U.S. -Korea policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor.

Thornton's statement came after reports of a possible delay caused by remarks by a White House advisor who was accompanying U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on his trip to Seoul.

For the former veteran United States official, China does not deserve praise for merely "sending back a couple of coal vessels for a sanction that they should have been implementing a year ago".

His plane touched down Tuesday at the US military's Atsugi base outside Tokyo. Both Japan and South Korea are home to tens of thousands of US troops.

South Korean presidential candidates clashed on Wednesday night in a TV debate over the planned USA -supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system which has angered China, with frontrunner Moon Jae-in criticised for leaving his options open.

Ruling party defense experts have even proposed that Japan lift a self-imposed restraint on conducting a retaliatory strike if attacked, rather than relying exclusively on the USA military.

Both sides said they do not expect the talks in Tokyo this week to delve into sector-by-sector talks on trade.

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