Pence assures Japan America is with its ally '100 percent'

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 19, 2017

A senior North Korean official then accused the United States of bringing the countries to the brink of thermonuclear war.

He reiterated United States support for South Korea, telling his host: "We are with you 100%".

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

US Vice President Mike Pence is expected to reassure Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.

"The potential for escalation is something serious and very real".

According to the US Census Bureau, the country's trade deficit in goods with South Korea rose from $16.6 billion in 2012 to $27.7 billion in 2016.

As he did during an earlier stop in South Korea, Pence said "the era of strategic patience is over" when it comes to North Korea.

He also opined that the main reason behind the recent escalation of tensions between Washington and Pyongyang is the measures the British government adopts because it is afraid of any rapprochement between the U.S. and Russian Federation or China.

Pence will meet with business leaders at each of his stops, starting on Tuesday morning in Seoul. It is the British.

But if the Chinese are unsuccessful, the US will move to increase pressure on North Korea on its own. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six UN Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing, and it has launched more missiles this year including a failed attempt at the weekend.

Pyongyang, however, argues that it needs to be prepared in case of an attack from Washington and its ally Seoul.

After the attempted test, US Vice President Mike Pence, visiting the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone on April 17, warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the US "or the strength of our military forces".

Susan Thornton, acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions and for global action to press Pyongyang "to cease provocative actions and recommit to peaceful denuclearisation".

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in February to have Pence and Aso open an economic dialogue.

Referring to the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group to waters off the Korean peninsula, Kim said if Washington "dares opt for a military action", calling it a preemptive strike, "the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S".

He is expected to discuss Korean tensions with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as hold economic talks with Finance Minister Taro Aso.

Kim called the news conference to "categorically reject" the USA decision to hold an open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on April 28.

At a news conference at the United Nations on Monday, North Korea's permanent representative Ambassador Kim In-ryong, condemned the USA missile strikes in Syria, which targeted an air base after a suspected chemical attack by the government. There is concern that the country intends to test another nuclear bomb soon.

Meanwhile Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula and says he believed the United States would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the stand-off.

North Korea will continue to test missiles, a senior official has told the BBC in Pyongyang, despite worldwide condemnation and growing military tensions with the US.

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