World News

Pence to South Korea: 'Our trade relationship is falling short'

Pence to South Korea: 'Our trade relationship is falling short'

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to USA and South Korean troops today and answered their questions at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, where he reaffirmed the US commitment to its long-standing alliance with South Korea.

In Washington, President Trump told CNN at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll that North Korea has “gotta behave.”.

The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders at the joint U.S.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence talks with members of the American Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Pence arrived in South Korea just hours after North Korea launched its latest ballistic missile, which exploded within a few seconds, and amid a weekend of fanfare in North Korea, during which the regime showed off what appeared to be new missiles created to reach the United States.

A political solution through United Nations-brokered negotiations is needed to resolve the conflict in Yemen, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says as he makes his first trip in the role to Saudi Arabia.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches in recent months in defiance of United Nations sanctions and concerns have been growing that the reclusive state could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.

While some diplomatic efforts played out openly between Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Townsend said "we also ought to expect there's covert and clandestine activity on both sides".

"I'm here to express the resolve of the people of the United States and the president of the United States to achieve that objective through peaceable means, through negotiations, but all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of South Korea", the vice president said.

At least two previously unseen missiles were on show during the big parade in North Korea at the weekend.

Pointing to the quarter-century since North Korea first obtained nuclear weapons, the Vice-President said a period of patience followed.

The US trade deficit with South Korea in 2016 amounted to $27.6 billion. Improving trade relations in Asia is key for the Trump administration after it abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Pence has used the first stops on his 10-day visit to Asia Pacific to stress the Trump administration's strong commitment to USA allies in the face of hostile rhetoric from Pyongyang.

Pence declined to comment when asked if the U.S. used cyberattacks to thwart the North's latest missile launches. “The better path would be for China to address the North Korean threat that is actually making such defensive measures necessary.

Christopher Hill, who served as ambassador to South Korea under President George W. Bush, recently returned from a trip there.

The unannounced visit Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia was a US show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two a year ago.


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