US VP Pence assures Japan America is with ally '100 percent'

Mr. Trump essentially has three choices: a military strike that could ignite a full-blown war; pressure on China to impose tougher sanctions to persuade the North to change course, an approach that failed for his predecessors; or a deal that could require significant concessions, with no guarantee that North Korea would fulfill its promises.

In South Korea, most people seem to be taking everything in stride.

In a 2010 statement sent to China, North Korea's forestry ministry said the trucks were bought to transport timber, according to the United Nations report. In 2016, the surplus measured at $23.2 billion, according to official data.

Kim stressed that US-South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill" aimed at his country, formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Almost 30,000 American soldiers are stationed in South Korea, and military exercises on land and sea in the area are frequent, according to The Times. "Our businesses continue to face too many barriers of entry which tilted the playing field against the American workers and American growth", Pence said.

Delegates hold "Make America First Again" posters on the Republican National Convention floor in Cleveland, Ohio, July 20, 2016. And that will be true in all of our trade relationships, including KORUS. "If not, we will solve the problem without them!"

"It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula", Pence said.

Trump campaigned on accusing Asian allies of not paying their fair share for common defense and USA support.

White House officials say the meetings in Tokyo are meant to forge a framework for future discussions after the US withdrew from a Pacific Rim trade pact. Pence arrived in Japan for talks Tuesday expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region.

South Korea is set to elect a new president next month. Samsung Electronics said in early April that its first-quarter profit jumped 48 percent.

While Japan's trade surplus with the much smaller than China's, Trump has decried the imbalance, especially in auto exports.

"That's the hard truth", Pence told an American Chamber of Commerce meeting in Seoul.

Any missile or nuclear strike by the United States would be responded to "in kind", said the North Korea representative.

A Japanese official told reporters after the meeting that the two agreed that the threat posed by North Korea has reached a new stage and that Japan and the USA need to be in close cooperation. It is also possible that the Kim regime is more intimidated than its outward swagger suggests and could yet freeze its nuclear programme.

"China is not the culprit of the issue nor does it hold the crux and the key to resolving it", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi argued Monday, emphasizing that the USA will decide whether or not there is peace on the peninsula.

After talks with Japan's deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, Pence said the USA would work with Japan, China and other nations to get Pyongyang to give up its atomic weapons program.

He denounced the United States for introducing into the Korean Peninsula - what he called "the world's biggest hotspot" - its "huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the Peninsula and pushing the situation there to a brink of war".

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov warned the U.S. against "unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria" and urged the USA to "follow the line that president Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

"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.

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