Abe, Pence urge Beijing to do more on North Korea
Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed the Trump administration's alliance with Japan on Tuesday as tensions mount over its neighbor North Korea.
Pence spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso, among others. "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will", Trump said in an interview ahead of the meeting.
Later Tuesday, Pence departed for Japan, the second stop in a 10-day Asia-Pacific tour that will also bring him to Indonesia and Australia, concluding a three-day visit to Seoul that focused on North Korea.
Susan Thornton, acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions and for global action to press Pyongyang "to cease provocative actions and recommit to peaceful denuclearisation".
US President Donald Trump has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China and Japan, saying he would boost US manufacturing jobs.
North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and it showed no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles in Pyongyang.
On Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Koreas and warned Pyongyang that "the era of strategic patience is over".
Abe and Pence affirmed that their countries will continue to share information as allies, but there was no specific mention of the United States consulting Japan before taking serious action on North Korea, the official said.
While reports indicate such efforts are in full swing, the Trump administration should review them and make sure we are doing all we can in the cyber realm to make these programs as hard as possible to advance.
Pointing to the quarter-century since the United States first confronted North Korea over its attempts to build nuclear weapons, the vice president said a period of patience had followed. Pressure on North Korea is crucial, he said.
This report assessed that the bilateral trade pact "provides meaningful market access commitments across virtually all major services sectors" and "also has improved Korea's business environment for US exporters while strengthening and expanding USA ties with a key strategic partner in Asia".
Pence said after the meeting that Trump believes it is in America's interest to negotiate economic deals on a bilateral basis.
In early March, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on USA bases in the country. "Most concerning is the fact that the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since [the Korea-U.S. FTA] came into effect".
The loss of US participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a blow to Japan following strenuous negotiations, especially over opening its long-protected farm sector to more imports, especially of dairy and meat products.
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.
For now, both sides seem eager to downplay potential for conflict.
As Indiana governor, Pence saw firsthand the impact of Japanese automakers Toyota, Honda and Subaru, whose factories employ thousands of people in his home state.
During the talk with Aso, Pence also addressed "America First" policy initiatives aimed at increasing domestic job growth, talking points which were previous debuted to economic leaders in Seoul, South Korea.