Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Pence visits Japan, turning focus to trade with key ally


Pence first joined a working lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before meeting Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for economic talks that the vice president said he hoped would yield a framework for further dialogue.

Beazley said there may be talks about the US' position on the potential territorial carve up of Syria, adding that he thinks it is quite possible that the officials would be discussing in detail the aftermath of victory over ISIL on a territorial basis, the Australian reported.

Pence earlier told a news conference in South Korea that "the era of strategic patience is over" after North Korea on Sunday test-fired another missile and fears mounted that it may be preparing a sixth nuclear test.

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.

"We should stay on our toes to protect our territory and people's lives", Hwang said.

North Korea has taken "self-defensive" measures in response to USA threats of military action and these reflect Pyongyang's determination to "counter nukes and ICBM in kind", Kim said, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"If the DPRK and U.S. -Republic of Korea's tit-for-tat posturing and mutual displays of strength fail to fundamentally change, then sooner or later something will go wrong on the Korean Peninsula", Wu told Phoenix, referring to North and South Korea by their official names.

He said the Trump administration's plans to simplify the USA tax code and cut the corporate tax rate will "benefit every business represented here today".

His comments followed an angry response to the hardening U.S. line on Pyongyang from North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In-ryong, who accused the USA of escalating tensions.

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A recent United States Trade Representative (USTR) Trade Policy Agenda report criticized the USA trade deficit with South Korea saying, "This is not the outcome the American people expected from that agreement".

In his reaction, Sin Hong-chol, North Korea's deputy foreign minister, told Al Jazeera that Donald Trump's administration "should look at the world with open eyes". "But the fact is that they have the overwhelming leverage over the North Korea regime", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters Tuesday in Canberra, Australia's capital.

At a White House press briefing on Monday, spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump was not going to "telegraph" his next move.

Meanwhile Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula and says he believed the United States would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the stand-off.

Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade.

The recent surge in tensions on the Korean Peninsula finds Beijing on the outs with both North and South Korea, while many critics have yet to be convinced by its insistence that its influence with Pyongyang has been exaggerated.

The launch occurred at 11:51 Hawaiian time in the city of Sinpo, North Korea, which is located over 200 miles from the capital city of Pyongyang.

While Japan's trade surplus with the U.S.is much smaller than China's, Trump has decried the imbalance, especially in auto exports. South Korea hosts 28,500 USA troops to counter the threat from the North.

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