Pence assures Japan: America is with you '100 percent'

Pence assures Japan: America is with you '100 percent'

Pence assures Japan: America is with you '100 percent'

North Korea's vice-foreign minister told the BBC Pyongyang would continue to test missiles and would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it thought the U.S. was planning an attack. It is his first trip to Asia as vice president.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked.

She said the Chinese have "gotten the message about increasing pressure and that they have said they want to increase cooperation with us and with the worldwide community on this front".

But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

But the meetings could indicate how forcefully the US will pressure Japan to further open its farm and automotive sectors.

But Trump has taken a more conciliatory tone since meeting with Abe in February at the president's Florida resort.

"Today we are beginning a process of economic dialogue, the end of which may result in bilateral trade negotiations in the future", Pence told a news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, his counterpart at Tuesday's talks. "We better see that start happening pretty quickly here", Townsend said. The discussions are to focus on economic and structural policy and trade and investment strategies aimed at strengthening both countries' economies.

Against a backdrop of trade deficits and currency concerns from the U.S., Aso said that talks held Tuesday were for the goal of enhancing ties, rather than highlighting differences.

While the U.S. moved an aircraft carrier to the Korean coast to intimidate Pyongyang, North Korea made a display of its missile strength and tested a missile which failed, though it was seen as an act of defiance.

But Vice President Mike Pence this week held out the possibility of holding negotiations with North Korea, saying the US was seeking security through negotiations. "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.

Pence was having lunch with Abe at the prime minister's official residence after arriving in Japan earlier in the day for the second stop of a 10-day Asia tour.

Noting Trump's recent military actions in Syria and Afghanistan, Pence said, "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve", or the US armed forces in the region.

Instead, the vice president opened up the prospect of forging a bilateral deal with Japan, which Trump has repeatedly accused of engaging in unfair trade practices.

The North has said such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.

They also echo those of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who told reporters that Washington was eager to increase trade ties with Tokyo through a two-way pact.

The North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland.

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