U.S. vice-president Pence says seeks fairer trade with Indonesia

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

Pence was addressing U.S. military personnel and guests including Japanese sailors on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is forward-deployed with the U.S. Seventh Fleet at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, 40 miles south of Tokyo.

Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the fierce rhetoric aimed at North Korea Wednesday, vowing in a speech onboard a US aircraft carrier in Japanese waters that the USA would meet any aggression from Pyongyang with an "overwhelming and effective" response.

"We have no schedule of a bilateral meeting either with the USA or China", Yoo said. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important.

Pence heads for Indonesia later on Wednesday.

The president also said he would soon release details of his plan to overhaul the tax code.

Today, more than 50,000 US troops, and another 50,000 civilians and family members are stationed in Japan, Pence told the audience.

Pence pointed to reports of China turning away coal exports from North Korea as an example of the new United States strategy bearing fruit.

He said that under President Donald Trump, the USA will stand up to its enemies with its allies.

This new stance Pence described, if it becomes formal US government policy, not only breaks from decades of Washington orthodoxy and conventional wisdom; it also may place the United States in a different position than its key Asian allies.

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

The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale US and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

Capital Economics said in a research note on Wednesday a renegotiated FTA would likely mean South Korea opens more of its economy to USA companies but would "have a relatively small impact on the economy". U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, is shown the way by Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

In South Korea and Japan, Pence played down protectionist declarations of "America first" and reaffirmed United States treaty commitments to the security of the two countries as tensions rise over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The US vice president said they could eventually result in a bilateral trade deal, though offered no specific time frame.

Also Tuesday, it emerged that a US strike group was not near the Korean Peninsula as had been previously thought, after President Trump said last week he had sent an "armada" as a warning to Pyongyang.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that China's decision to restrict coal shipments to Pyongyang was "encouraging" and said Beijing "continued to have both economic and political influence" on North Korea.

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