Pence reaffirms Japan alliance amid North Korea 'provocations'

In the latest sign of the Kremlin's abrupt about-face on its erstwhile American hero, Kiselyov pronounced Trump "more dangerous" than his North Korean counterpart.

Thornton said any new North Korean nuclear test "would draw a pretty significant global response".

"[North Korea] is on a path to achieving nuclear weapons capability and we believe Kim Jong-un has a clear ambition to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload as far as the U.S.", she told AM.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence said.

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

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the United States considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region.

Calling the communist regime "the region's most unsafe and urgent threat", Pence stressed once again that "all options are on the table".

A day after North Korea launched its latest test missile, an experiment that ultimately fizzled out, Mr Pence said the USA was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to persuade the North to give up its nuclear arms. Japanese officials counter that Tokyo accounts for a much smaller chunk of America's deficit than in the past, while China's imbalance is much bigger. -South Korean military camp, which is just outside the 2.5-mile (4.02-kilometer)-wide DMZ.

A soldier films North Korean soldiers, officers and high ranking officials attending a military parade at the weekend.

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", Pence said after arriving from Seoul for talks with Abe. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

"We had a 15-minute scheduled meeting and it lasted for three hours, and the same thing happened the next day", he said.

Tokyo is the second stop on Pence's 10-day tour of Asia, a trip aimed at emphasizing that U.S. President Donald Trump still intends to boost U.S. trade in the region despite his opposition to TPP. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the USA would rely on its allies as well as Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea.

President Trump during an interview that aired early Tuesday denied he had softened his stance on China.

Pyongyang will press forward building a robust military arsenal, and Washington and its allies will continue to negate such a build-up with counter measures: missile defense systems like THAAD; offensive weapons like stealth fighters and bombers; the rotating in of "armadas;" and, perhaps eventually, tactical nuclear weapons transferred back to South Korea from the U.S.

While business leaders in Seoul have been critical of the South Korean practice of imposing non-tariff related trade barriers, especially in the auto industry that accounts for 80 percent of the US trade deficit, they are overall supportive of the KORUS FTA.

"We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs".

"I've seen that the United States has reiterated it is willing to use political and diplomatic means to resolve this, as this is their first choice", he told reporters in Beijing.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity. He will aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the US will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.

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

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the USA reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

North Korea has repeatedly ignored China's calls for denuclearization and other steps to calm tensions on the peninsula, and relations between the two are believed to have sunk to their lowest level in years.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who met with Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko, earlier Tuesday, said he hopes to soon begin talks on a free trade agreement with Japan.

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

North Korea declared itself a nuclear power in 2005.

The Pentagon has not discussed which missile blew up after its launch Sunday from a base near Sinpo on the North's east coast, and the White House has said only that it was a medium-range device. He notes that that all foreign imports into South Korea have been in decline in recent years, but USA imports dropped by only 2.8 percent, while Japanese imports were down 15 percent, Australian imports were down by 20 percent, and imports from the European Union were down nearly 10 percent. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

  • Leroy Wright