Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Pence visits Japan, turning focus to trade with key ally

Han reiterated North Korea's position that it would react with a "nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method" should the USA plan a military attack on the country.

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six UN Security Council resolutions banning any testing, and it has conducted additional missile tests this year including one this past weekend that failed.

Trump's switcheroo (he's no longer pro-Russia and anti-China, as he was on the campaign trail) is showing some early signs of success on the Korean Peninsula: Ever so slightly, Beijing's shifting away from its unconditional defense of the Kim Jong-un regime.

Abe said that it was a "matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well peaceable settlements of the issue".

In fact, the communist country vowed to continue testing its missiles and expressed its readiness for an "all-out-war" in the event of USA military aggression.

Pence on Monday had travelled to the tense zone dividing the two Koreas, 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".

During his ongoing tour of the region, which started April 15 and will end April 25, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is seeking to project precisely that: a more stable, predictable and reliable United States.

An "all-out war" would be the result of the continuing military tensions with the U.S. and warned North America about being "reckless enough to use military means". Pressure on North Korea is crucial, he said.

He warned Pyongyang "would do well not to test" the resolve of Mr Trump.

As leader of the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has voiced worries about Trump's immigration policy, which critics say is biased against Muslims.

Almost 100 days into Donald Trump's presidency, uncertainty over the direction of USA policy and its behavior in the Asia-Pacific continues to pervade the region, including among many of Washington's most important allies.

Mr Trump has ordered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and several warships to the area to highlight American concern at the situation, as China expressed fears war could erupt "at any moment".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi repeated China's standard line that the crisis could only be resolved by diplomacy. President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January.

Wang told reporters that although USA officials have made clear that a military strike remains on the table, he believes that Washington would still prefer to de-escalate tensions through multi-sided talks.

But North Korea used Chinese-made trucks to display missiles at the military parade on Saturday, according to photographs, underlining the difficulty in enforcing United Nations sanctions.

Pence struck a stern tone as he began talks with Abe and other Japanese leaders after arriving at a US naval base from South Korea.

It's unclear if the United States interfered with this specific test, but the tactic is actively being pursued by the U.S. military, according to public statements and Congressional testimony by current and former members of the armed forces.

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