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20 April 2017, 06:52 | Erica Roy
"China is the nation that has the greatest leverage over North Korea", he said.
"I would see such an action as escalatory, but I couldn't guess how Kim Jong-un would interpret it", the report quoted Abraham Denmark, a senior official in Barack Obama's administration, as saying.
More than a week earlier, on April 8, the U.S. Navy announced that a strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson had been diverted north from Singapore to the Western Pacific as speculation mounted that North Korea was preparing a nuclear or missile test.
After meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders, Pence told reporters that President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure has a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate. (In reality, it was probably stock art of Arkansas.) The country's government has also produced posters showing USA soldiers dropping crying babies into wells and America as a dog barking at a passing train.
The comments dash the hopes of Japanese policymakers, who have said they want to avoid use of the economic dialogue as a forum to discuss a bilateral FTA that may put them under USA pressure to open up highly-protected areas like agriculture. Developing a hydrogen bomb is also a declared priority of North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or DPRK.
North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, it has escalated a war of words, warning of full-out nuclear war if Washington takes military action against it. Not once does he not once name the current leader of North Korea- perhaps because of the fact the last two leaders have very similar names and not wanting to make a gaffe on camera- but then two: the remark about Clinton is worrying.
Before arriving in Japan, Pence visited South Korea. The uninhabited isles in Japanese-administered waters are known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.
On Sunday, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that China was working with the U.S. on "the North Korea problem".
Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier at the US Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay, Mr Pence said the Trump administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.
He said Trump is certain that negotiating trade deals with individual countries was the best way to ensure they yield "win-win" situations for both sides.
Instead, North Korea tested a missile Sunday, which was said to have failed, provoking more calls for the country to cease its hostile acts.
The defiant message comes as a North Korean diplomat at the United Nations warned the world that nuclear war "may break out at any moment".
The defense ministry said US and South Korean air forces were conducting an annual training exercise, codenamed Max Thunder, until April 28. The attempt of the missile test was made amid the celebration of the anniversary of birth of North Korea's founding leader Kim Il-sung.
North Korea did not refer to the mix-up but said the United States and its allies "should not mess with us".
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