Pence, on U.S. carrier, pledges to defend Asia

Pence spoke on Tuesday with reporters about the partnerships the US has with Asian countries that surround the North Korean regime. It is his first trip to Asia as vice president.

The Trump administration plans to "reform" the existing deal to level the playing field, he told the room of executives, most of whom represented USA companies doing business in South Korea.

Pence told business leaders before leaving Seoul that the Trump.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that China's decision to restrict coal shipments to Pyongyang was "encouraging" and said Beijing "continued to have both economic and political influence" on North Korea. "We are with you 100 per cent".

"They (the United States) have a trade deficit with us and they can complain about that, sure".

China has recently shown "tangible indications" that it is cooperating with the turn up the pressure on Pyongyang, a senior State Department official said Monday.

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"When the president says all options are on the table, all options are on the table", said Pence.

"In my discussions with Trump administration officials, I get much less of a concern that we're about to do some kind of a military strike, then the view one gets from the public statements", he said.

The vice president also said North Korea is the most unsafe threat in the Asia-Pacific region and that the era of strategic patience was over, Kyodo news agency reported.

Pence said he had spoken with Trump and by 2020 some 60 percent of the USA naval fleet would be in the region and Japan's role would grow.

"And the approach President Trump has taken is not engagement with North Korea but renewed and more vigorous engagement with North Korea's principle economic partner [China]".

Some diplomatic observers in Seoul said U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping might have discussed the so-called big deal bilaterally.

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Pence is traveling to Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia, and he'll wrap up with a stop in Hawaii. But his response went beyond offering a simple "no comment", as he made it very clear that the U.S. recognized that the launch failed, and failed nearly immediately.

According to the U.S. Military's Missile Defense Agency (MDA), THAAD also boasts a flawless record since the test program's inception in 2006, with the only "failed" tests having occurred when the target missile failed to launch.

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

But in an interview with me on Wednesday afternoon, he adopted a harder line: The Trump administration, he said, demands that North Korea abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs without any promise of direct negotiations with the United States.

After talks with Japan's deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, Pence said the US would work with Japan, China and other nations to get Pyongyang to give up its atomic weapons program.

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  • Ryan Wade