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Japan and Australia to deepen ties amid North Korea tension

21 April 2017

The enemies of our freedom and this alliance would do well not to test the resolve of this President - or the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and our allies.

The vice president also said the USA would promote peaceful dialogue and defend human rights, "because the dignity and worth of every person is an eternal value of the United States".

The U.S.is trying to ratchet up pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The announcement followed an inaugural meeting Tuesday of the U.S. -Japan Economic Dialogue in Tokyo chaired by visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

The Trump administration is eager to slash America's trade deficit, and Pence stressed during the Tokyo meeting that the U.S.is interested in expanding economic ties with any country on "a bilateral basis". "The U.S. government has not yet made an official request to discuss the Korea-U.S. [Korus] FTA".

The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participated in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula.

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"The United States is proud to partner with Indonesia, to promote and protect these values", Pence said.

He said the USA would look for changes to make it a mutually beneficial trade deal "as we reform KORUS in the days ahead".

US Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the US commitment to Asia Pacific with a stern warning for North Korea, which he called the "most unsafe and urgent threat" to the region.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which had been promoted by former US President Barack Obama and Japan as a way to counter China's influence in a fast-growing region, was written in a way to prevent implementation without the United States. Ever since Donald Trump became the president, he has hosted leaders from majority-Muslim Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Pence previously served as governor of IN, which has assembly plants for Japanese vehicles, and it is understood he has some appreciation for Japan's contributions to the U.S.

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Pence arrived in Japan on Tuesday and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for discussions on security and trade.

He also said, "We are with you 100 percent", adding that the USA always seeks peace.

The Vice President opened up the prospect of a bilateral agreement with Japan, a country that the president accused of unfair trade practices. He called North Korea the most urgent and unsafe threat to the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region.

The VP noted the Trump administration will "work diligently" with allies, including Japan and China, in order to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. Pence is now on a 10-day trip in A.

"It's fitting today I deliver this message aboard this great ship, a majestic ship, the USS Ronald Reagan here at Yokosuka Naval Base", Pence said.

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Japan and Australia to deepen ties amid North Korea tension