US VP Pence arrives in Japan to focus on trade

North Korea's nuclear and missile development dominated the agenda on his first stop in South Korea.

Asked what North Korea must do, he repeated that "all options are on the table, and there they will remain".

"We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", the Vice President said, to applause from the hundreds of USA and Japanese troops gathered on the deck.

Vice President Pence, visiting Japan on his 10-day tour of Asia, said the US has launched bilateral talks with Tokyo in the hopes of reaching a new trade agreement.

Pyongyang has been a main focus of his visit and public speeches so far, during which he's stuck fast to the U.S. message that the "era of strategic patience is over".

Pence said he considers the first 100 days a success, pointing to the administration's efforts to expand jobs and its ability to get Justice Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court.

"I really can't comment on the electronic and technical capabilities of our military, but we certainly would recognize that that was a failed missile test, it failed nearly immediately", he said.

Asked whether another North Korean nuclear test is imminent, she said, "Some kind of a major provocation like that would draw a pretty significant global response".

However, he also said the USA will "continue to work diligently" with Japan, China and other allies in the region to "bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on" North Korea.

"There's no question North Korea represents the most unsafe and most immediate threat in the Asia-Pacific and President Trump is determined to confront that threat by marshaling unprecedented cooperation with allies in the region and China and the world", Pence said, according to CNN.

Pence told reporters President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure from the "family of nations" had a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate.

Pence pointed to reports of China turning away coal exports from North Korea as an example of the new U.S. strategy bearing fruit.

There is no change to plans to deploy a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery in Korea, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton said Monday.

Trump has recently spoken highly of the Chinese President, whom he met earlier this month at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and later described as a "terrific person".

"I know the president is hopeful that China will use its influence here on the Korean Peninsula with North Korea to achieve that objective", he said.

It later emerged that the Navy strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson, which was thought to be on its way was actually headed in the opposite direction.

Dialogue and consultation is the only way to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, said Lu, reaffirming China's stance.

"The President's decision to launch cruise missiles into Syria at the very airbase that launched a horrific chemical attack, which was the right decision", he said.

"The point the President was making is that we're ready". "We're definitely not seeking conflict or regime change, but we are committed to defending our people and our allies".

Pence is speaking in Tokyo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

He told CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday he believes North Korea is getting the message.

  • Elsie Buchanan