In Japan, Vice President Pence Pushes For Bilateral Trade Deal

20 April, 2017, 10:46 | Author: Valerie Burke
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Vice President Pence, visiting Japan on his 10-day tour of Asia, said the USA has launched bilateral talks with Tokyo in the hopes of reaching a new trade agreement.

Asked if he envisioned direct negotiation between North Korea and the U.S., Pence said, "Not at this time".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese leaders have begun talks expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region, though tensions with North Korea loomed large.

"The only thing we need to hear from North Korea is that they are ending and ultimately dismantling their nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program", Pence said.

Pence also took a much tougher line on North Korea, saying the days of broken promises were over, while adding that the USA would counter any attack with an "overwhelming response".

Some economists have criticized the Trump administration's focus on trade deficits as a way of viewing US economic ties with the rest of the world.

"It's fitting today I deliver this message aboard this great ship, a majestic ship, the USS Ronald Reagan here at Yokosuka Naval Base", Pence said.

"Pence insisted that the U.S.is finished with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement".

Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan in Japan Wednesday, Pence reiterated the United States and its allies were prepared to respond to potential North Korean attack with "overwhelming" force. 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.

Pence also said the United States would protect freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, where Beijing is entangled in territorial rows with several Southeast Asia nations.

He also said that misinformation on a Navy strike group's whereabouts is not intentional.

Pence told the ship's captain that he had spoken to President Donald Trump, and Trump "wishes he were here".

"The policy of President Trump is to marshal the support of our allies in the region - Japan, South Korea, nations around the world, and China", he said.

On Sunday it was alleged that North Korea's military weapons cache were made up of dummy props including wood shaped and painted to look like warheads. He visited South Korea earlier and will head to Indonesia after his stop in Japan.

Many experts are questioning whether the failed launch was caused by North Korean incompetence or was the result of a USA cyber attack.

"GIs hurled fully armed MPs of the South Korean puppet army into perpetrating such risky provocations as aiming at" North Korea's side of the demilitarized zone, said the statement from the Korean Central News Agency, based in Pyongyang, the nation's capital.

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