The United States is not seeking to negotiate with North Korea and it is not in direct talks "at this time" with the rogue Asian nation, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN and the Washington Post Wednesday.
"We are with you 100 percent", he said, adding that the U.S.
Speaking to US and Japanese troops on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier Wednesday, he called North Korea the most urgent and unsafe threat to the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region.
In talks with Aso, Pence was expected "to push for greater access to Japan's markets for U.S. companies, and for more Japanese investment in the U.S.", Anthony says.
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The U.S. military says an aircraft carrier participated in curtailed training with Australia before starting its journey north toward the Korean Peninsula.
Pence is on a 10-day Asia trip that will also take him to Indonesia and Australia.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who met with Japan's trade minister, Hiroshige Seko earlier Tuesday, said he hopes to soon begin talks on a free trade agreement with Japan. Pence arrived in Japan.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting the Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta on Thursday as part of his visit to Indonesia. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is undergoing scheduled maintenance at its home port. "That's the hard truth", Pence told the meeting. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to expand Japan's defense role and capability in the face of North Korea's threat and China's increasing assertive maritime activity in the East and South China Seas.
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Pence reiterated that after years of North Korea testing the USA and its neighbors in East Asia with its nuclear ambitions, the US "era of strategic patience is over". He said that the dialogue could lead to formal talks on a U.S. -Japan trade agreement, but that he would leave that decision to the future.
But the meetings could indicate how forcefully the USA will pressure Japan to further open its farm and automotive sectors.
Abe said Japan hoped for peaceful dialogue with Pyongyang, "but at the same time, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue". Pence is now on a 10-day trip in A.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urged China on Thursday to do more to help out in the worldwide effort to pressure and persuade North Korea to stop escalating nuclear and missile threat.
Trump warns North Korea: 'Gotta behave'
The zone was born out of an agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations at the end of the Korean War in 1953. The Trump administration is hoping that China will help rein in North Korea in exchange for other considerations.