US Vice President Pence kicks off economic talks with Japan


Pence on Monday had traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the USA and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

The country's deputy foreign minister, Han Song-Ryol, told the BBC that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles "on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

"The alliance between the United States and Japan is the cornerstone of peace and security in Northeast Asia", he told Abe.

Mattis did not identify the type of missile but said it was not of intercontinental range, meaning it could not reach us territory.

Despite the tension, North Korea may carry out a sixth nuclear test soon, observers say.

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Pence said the TPP was a "thing of the past" and Washington would not wait forever for results from the talks.

Pence said on Monday that the world had witnessed Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, which saw a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan.

Pence also visited the Demilitarized Zone on Monday, and urged China to use its influence over North Korea to pressure the regime into abandoning its quest for nuclear weapons.

But North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations has warned nuclear war may break out at any moment, accusing the USA of turning the Korean Peninsula into the "world's biggest hotspot".

South Korea's Defense Ministry also confirmed on Thursday that the United States and South Korean Air Forces are conducting an annual training exercise - codenamed Max Thunder - until April 28.

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King told CNBC on Tuesday that, instead, Japan will certainly support the us against North Korea.

The White House said it based its statements on guidance from the Defense Department.

Ms Bishop said the Trump administration would prioritise "creative" options to cease North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, signalling a change of approach from that of former president Barack Obama. "If they are used by North Korea for military objective, they must have been modified by the North Korean side", said the sales manager, who would give only his surname, Wang.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a new appeal Tuesday for calm on the Korean Peninsula. I had a great, great meeting with the president of China and that meeting tells me a lot and you've seen a lot of things happen. "I think that the relationship that the president started building with President Xi down in Mar-a-Lago is clearly showing some positive signs".

Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade. During his campaign, Trump had threatened to pull out of the FTA with Korea, calling it a "job killing deal" that doubled America's trade deficit with South Korea and destroyed almost 100-thousand American jobs - though the voracity of the figure has been disputed.

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Asked by a reporter what message he had for North Korea's young leader Kim Jong-Un on Monday, Trump replied "Gotta behave".