Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Mike Pence: U.S. would defeat North Korea attacks against Japan

Mike Pence: U.S. would defeat North Korea attacks against Japan

Calling the meeting a clear sign of the robust U.S. -Japan alliance, Pence stressed that Washington stands with Tokyo, even during this hard period of continual provocations by the North.

Pence repeated the message today during a visit to the USS Ronald Reagan at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. It is his first trip to Asia as vice president. President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is making a pitch for President Donald Trump's economic policies, telling U.S. and Japanese business leaders that a tax overhaul and cut in regulations will help business on both sides of the Pacific. Security issues, chiefly Washington's tens relations with North Korea, economic issues, and trade imbalances are expected to take center stage.

Pence said, "We seek peace always ... but as you know and the United States knows peace comes through strength". He said that the dialogue could lead to formal talks on a U.S. -Japan trade agreement, but that he would leave that decision to the future.

Pence also said comments from the White House on the whereabouts of the USS Carl Vinson Navy Strike Group were not purposefully misleading.

Approval ratings for Trump's performance, according to many recent polls, is at record lows for a new commander in chief, but Pence said he "couldn't be more proud" to be a part of the current administration.

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He said that while "all options are on the table", Trump was determined to work with Japan, South Korea and other allies in Asia to resolve the problem.

The New York Times reported last month that President Donald Trump inherited a cyberwar on North Korea in the hope of sabotaging its missile tests.

US President Donald Trump has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China and Japan, saying he would boost USA manufacturing jobs. "We believe that through discussions and negotiations among nations apart from North Korea that we may well be able to bring the kind of economic and diplomatic pressure that would result in North Korea finally abandoning its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program". But his response went beyond offering a simple "no comment", as he made it very clear that the U.S. recognized that the launch failed, and failed nearly immediately.

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up in recent weeks amid sabre-rattling from both the U.S. and North Korea.

A day after North Korea launched its latest test missile, an experiment that ultimately fizzled out, Mr Pence said the United States was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to persuade the North to give up its nuclear arms.

This prompted an nearly immediate response from South Korea's defense ministry, which said that the deployment was not influenced by politics, but declined to specify on how far the preparations had advanced.

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