Pence takes message of US resolve against North Korea to Japan

He revealed that this was done intentionally to send a message to North Korea.

North Korea will continue to test missiles despite the growing tensions between the USA and its allies and Pyongyang, a senior North Korea official said Monday.

In South Korea and Japan, Pence played down protectionist declarations of "America first" and reaffirmed U.S. treaty commitments to the security of the two countries as tensions rise over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

"President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region, and with China, to achieve a peaceable solution and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Pence told Abe at the outset of their working lunch.

"We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan", Pence said.

"I don't know what kind of agreement we'll be arriving at, but I think there will be talk about doing it with 11 countries, without the United States", he said.

The United States is not looking to get into a fight with North Korea unless Pyongyang sparks one, Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters, Sputnik reported.

North Korea's nuclear weapons programme poses a "serious threat" to Australia unless it is stopped by the global community, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is warning. Pyongyang continues to threaten to destroy Japan, South Korea, and the United States with its missiles. Our nuclear weapons protect us from that threat.

North Korea used Chinese-made trucks to display missiles at a massive military parade last week, according to photographs released by state media, underlining the difficulty in enforcing United Nations sanctions against the isolated state.

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But the vice president said he was encouraged and believed North Korea was listening to the Trump administration's concerns.

"If the DPRK and U.S. -Republic of Korea's tit-for-tat posturing and mutual displays of strength fail to fundamentally change, then sooner or later something will go wrong on the Korean Peninsula", Wu told Phoenix, referring to North and South Korea by their official names. They say greater Chinese cooperation is vital.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said China had taken some "very helpful" steps, although it remained to be seen how effective these would be.

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".

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula. Trump campaigned on an "America first" platform, and has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations such as China and Japan.

Ms Bishop also repeated Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's call for China to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea.

Late previous year, China, which is believed to be the only country buying North Korean coal, announced it would slash its imports in line with worldwide sanctions after a ballistic missile test.

"Recognition, in short, is the key driver behind North Korea's behavior, "writes Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a senior lecturer at King's College London and co-director of the London Asia Pacific Centre for Social Science".

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