US VP Pence assures Japan: America is with you '100 percent'

Share

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.

"My hope is that they'll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula", he said.

"North Korea is the most unsafe and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", he said.

Addressing some 25-hundred sailors on board the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo bay, Pence noted the Trump administration will work with allies like Japan and China, . but highlighted readiness is the key.

Lavrov's comments come after President Trump's authorization of a strike on a Syrian airbase two weeks ago caused a flurry of speculation that North Korea might also face military action in response to further provocations.

The vice president met Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and reassured them of the U.S. commitment in the face of possible threats posed by North Korea.

Said Abe: "It goes without saying that it is a matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well peaceable settlements of the issue".

She added, "The main reason why we are proceeding with this is that there is this imminent threat from North Korea that threatens South Korea, threatens our allies, and threatens our troops in the region".

Pence spoke as uncertainty continues to swirl about the US plan of action regarding North Korea, which conducted yet another failed missile test on Sunday as the country celebrated the birthday of patriarch Kim Il-Sung.

The U.S.is trying to ratchet up pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. The USS Nimitz will be joining the Ronald Reagan near the Korean peninsula, in yet another display of Washington's commitment to maintain peace and security in the region.

The disagreement with Russian Federation over the stronger language came ahead of a Security Council ministerial meeting next week on North Korea that will be chaired by US Secretary of States Rex Tillerson.

Pence has used the first stops on his 10-day visit to Asia Pacific to stress the Trump administration's strong commitment to U.S. allies in the face of hostile rhetoric from Pyongyang.

Pence declined to comment when asked if the USA used cyberattacks to thwart the North's latest missile launches.

China, a close ally of North Korea, today expressed serious concern over Pyongyang's plans to step up its nuclear and missile programmes.

Beijing, of course, has made this promise before, and experts warn there is no particular reason why China would honor it now - but the White House seems to have few better options. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said tensions need to be eased on the Korean Peninsula to bring the escalating dispute to a peaceful resolution.

Share