Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Japan's Abe stresses need for 'pressure' on North Korea

Japan's Abe stresses need for 'pressure' on North Korea

Lu said Beijing wanted to resume the multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009 and suggested that United States plans to deploy a missile defence system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China. Pence arrived in Japan for talks Tuesday expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region.

Pence, on Tuesday, reassured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the ready to work closely with its Asian allies in the region to achieve "a peaceable resolution and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

His plane touched down Tuesday at the USA military's Atsugi base outside Tokyo.

US Vice President Mike Pence is welcomed by Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso at the prime minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan April 18, 2017.

"We will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs", he said.

North Korea has conducted a series of missile launches and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, including a failed missile launch on Sunday.

Abe said he supported Trump's stance that strategic patience with North Korea had run out, and that all options were on the table.

Every March, the Korean Peninsula is drawn into an all-too-familiar cycle of escalating tension.

Pence also called Japan the "cornerstone" of peace in the region.

Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump's administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the North to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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.

In an interview with the LA Times, the former secretary said if there is going to be a military reaction from the North, it would be "not a nuclear attack as they have threatened, rather a conventional but still quite destructive attack against South Korea".

North Korea's deputy representative to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, accused the United States of creating "a situation where nuclear war could break out an any time" and said Pyongyang's next nuclear test would take place "at a time and at a place where our headquarters deems necessary".

While business leaders in Seoul have been critical of the South Korean practice of imposing non-tariff related trade barriers, especially in the auto industry that accounts for 80 percent of the US trade deficit, they are overall supportive of the KORUS FTA.

IN is the top USA state for per-capita foreign direct investment from Japan, including higher-technology and better-paying manufacturing jobs, said Victor Smith, Pence's commerce secretary when he led the state.

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

The Trump administration wants to attract more foreign direct investment, hoping to lure some with a $1 trillion plan to rebuild US roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

But the meetings could indicate how forcefully the United States will pressure Japan to further open its farm and automotive sectors. 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 defence system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China.

The loss of US participation in the TPP was a blow to Japan following strenuous negotiations, especially over opening access wider to its long-protected farm sector.

Pence and Abe agreed that they needed to persuade China to play a larger role in dealing with North Korea, a Japanese government spokesman said.

Before Pence's arrival, Aso told reporters the talks were meant to provide, "not friction, but co-operation".

However, the U.S. president has yet to fulfill his campaign promise.

Pence developed ties with Japanese business and political leaders as governor of IN, a state that is home to Subaru, Honda and Toyota plants, and about 260 Japanese companies employing about 60,000 residents.

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