South Korean opposition adviser says renegotiated US FTA won't hurt trade

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

"Japan and the United States should work together to establish a deregulation framework for trade and investment and spread it to the entire Asia-Pacific region", Aso said after the meeting, while Pence emphasized that Washington is sticking to bilateral trade and investment talks with its partners, pointing to the possibility that Japan-U.S. economic dialogue could move forward accordingly.

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso are kicking off a new U.S. -Japan economic dialogue that was launched during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meeting with President Donald Trump in the February.

"We're already seeing our allies in South Korea and Japan and the wider world standing behind us, but China is taking unprecedented steps to economically isolate North Korea and given the fact that China represents more than 80% of the exports from North Korea is enormously important", Pence said.

The No. 2 men in the Japanese and US governments agreed that "common strategy on trade and investment rules", "cooperation on economic and structural policies" and "sectorial cooperation", such as in investment in infrastructure, would be key issues for the bilateral economic dialogue.

Both the United States and acting South Korea president Hwang Kyo-ahn have said they would proceed with the early deployment to South Korea of THAAD despite Chinese objections.

"Pyongyang seems to have conviction that the US will not stage a pre-emptive attack against its nuclear facilities if Washington does not decide to push ahead with an all-out war", Kim In-tae, an analyst at the Institute for National Security Strategy, said in a report.

However, U.S. officials instead ended up calling for bilateral trade negotiations as the main item on the agenda for the talks between Pence and Aso.

"All options are on the table. We want to send an unambiguous message especially to North Korea that any attempt to use weapons of any kind against our allies in this region or American forces overseas will be defeated and will be met with overwhelming force", Pence said in an interview with CNN.

"That kind of economic and diplomatic pressure will result we hope in the regime in Pyongyang forfeiting their ambitions, forfeiting their nuclear weapons program and join the family of nations".

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan, we are with you 100 percent".

More than a week earlier, on April 8, the U.S. Navy announced that a strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson had been diverted north from Singapore to the Western Pacific as speculation mounted that North Korea was preparing a nuclear or missile test.

Last week, President Trump said he was sending an "armada" to the Korean Peninsula as a show of force.

His plane touched down Tuesday at the US military's Atsugi base outside Tokyo.

The focus of his trip is expected to shift in Japan to trade.

It is the first reaction by North Korea though Uriminzokkiri is not its state media.

He expressed deeply negative views of past negotiations with Pyongyang.

Mattis did not identify the type of missile but said it was not of intercontinental range, meaning it could not reach US territory.

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