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Pence says Washington will 'reform' FTA with S. Korea
20 April 2017, 01:51 | Melissa Porter
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.
Pence, who is in Seoul as part of his Asia-Pacific trip, mentioned beneficial effects of the FTA with South Korea, citing expanded two-way trade and more inflows of investment into the USA since the deal went into effect.
"I will continue having constructive talks with Mr Pence so as to deepen the win-win economic relations between Japan and the U.S.", he said. "We are with you 100 percent".
"Our missile test-fire is part of the normal process to go through for implementing the development of the self-defense capability and quality in order to defend our rights to self-existence and to safeguard peace and security in the Korean peninsula", explained Kim, adding that North Korea's missiles and nuclear arsenal are purely a response to American hostility, and the DPRK will conduct further tests if necessary.
A senior North Korean official then accused the United States of bringing the countries to the brink of thermonuclear war.
The focus of his trip is expected to shift in Japan to trade.
North Korea is moving steadily toward that goal, and some experts believe it could achieve it during Trump's presidency. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the USA would rely on its allies as well as Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated USA response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.
"We need to apply pressure on North Korea so they seriously respond to a dialogue" with the worldwide community, he said, urging China and Russian Federation to play more constructive roles on the issue. deforested stretch of North Korea from a lookout post in the hillside.
Susan Thornton, acting US assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions and for global action to press Pyongyang "to cease provocative actions and recommit to peaceful denuclearisation".
After meeting with Abe, Pence held talks with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on a new U.S. -Japan "economic dialogue" to be led by the two.
The new forum for trade talks was launched by Trump and Abe during the Japanese leader's visit to the U.S.in February. In part, it is meant to take the place of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the regional trade pact that Trump withdrew from shortly after taking office.
US President Donald Trump has reportedly been able to convince his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping of the need not to support North Korea because the country is a burden for China.
Pence, however, reaffirmed that there was no hope of reviving the TPP itself, which he called a "thing of the past" for the US.
Both sides said they do not expect the talks in Tokyo this week to delve into sector-by-sector talks on trade. A recent report by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) recommended a major review of the bilateral deal.
Pence said the USA trade deficit has more than doubled in the five years since the U.S.
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