Japan to 'exercise pressure' on North Korea

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

The focus of his trip is expected to shift in Japan to trade. The trip so far has been dominated by USA and allies' concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile development efforts.

- From two continents, top Trump administration officials warned Tuesday that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the United States was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. "My hope is that they'll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula".

Trump's executive order does not include Indonesia, but the country is home to almost 14,000 refugees seeking resettlement in third countries and activists have said the ban would affect their ability of entering the U.S.

After meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Pence said the US was interested in a "win-win relationship" with Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

The official said Tuesday that Japan still hopes to bring the US back into a multilateral framework such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Trump's Indonesian business partner, billionaire Hary Tanoe, is an aspiring politician who has said he might run for president in 2019.

He also said, "We are with you 100 percent", adding that the USA always seeks peace.

His remarks appeared to allude to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's comments, after meeting with Aso in Tokyo earlier this week, that the U.S. considered the TPP a "thing of the past".

Widodo's approach to foreign policy has been led more by economic interests than geopolitical considerations: he has pursued increased trade and investment from China, but keeps a diplomatic distance from Beijing and established a strategic partnership with Washington under former President Barack Obama.

While in Seoul on Monday, the vice president warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the U.S.

The American vice president is on a 10-day trip to Asia that has been dominated by the North Korea issue.

The unannounced visit at the start of Pence's 10-day trip to Asia was a US show of force that allowed him to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire. But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

The announcement followed an inaugural meeting Tuesday of the U.S. -Japan Economic Dialogue in Tokyo chaired by visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China conducts "normal" business with its neighbour while adhering to United Nations security council sanctions. Lu said Beijing wants to resume the multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009 and suggested that US plans to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China.

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