Pence promotes Trump's economic plans in Japan

Reuters Pence says South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement to be reviewed reformed

Pence promotes Trump's economic plans in Japan

From two continents, Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the USA was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"The only thing we need to hear from North Korea is that they are ending and ultimately dismantling their nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program", Pence said aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan.

Pence made his remarks as the White House grappled with controversy over the location of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group that US President Donald Trump said last week had been sent to near the Korean peninsula as a warning to North Korea, but which headed towards Australia instead.

Trump has recently spoken highly of the Chinese President, whom he met earlier this month at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and later described as a "terrific person".

The article also accused Seoul of going along with Washington's demands and playing a confrontational role, and added that Pyongyang will continue to adopt increasingly stronger measures against growing military pressure, threats and irrational sanctions from the US.

A Japanese official says a difference in approach remains with the USA despite an agreement on a framework for new bilateral economic talks.

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

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence matter, said the missile was a Scud variant that the US calls a KN-17. President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. will not relent until it achieves its objective of ensuring the Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons. The country's United Nations envoy, Kim In Ryong, said this week that the US had pushed the Korean Peninsula to the "brink of war".

"All options are on the table".

The participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, minus the US, will begin talks on implementing the free trade deal in May, Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said in a speech in NY on Wednesday.

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

"But at the same time", the prime minister said, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue".

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

Another top agenda on Pence's trip was pitching Trump's economic policies.

White House officials say the meetings in Tokyo are meant to forge a framework for future discussions after the USA withdrew from a Pacific Rim trade pact.

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