US carrier heading toward Korean Peninsula

Apr 20, 2017, 09:11
US carrier heading toward Korean Peninsula

Through three American administrations, the USA and its allies had worked tirelessly to peacefully dismantle the nuclear program and alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people.

A ship bell signaled his arrival Wednesday morning on the USS Ronald Reagan at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo. And it seems altogether fitting that as Vice President I could be here to personally express the timeless bond between the people of South Korea and the people of the United States of America.

The United States is to begin discussing changes to its free trade deal with South Korea to ensure the deal is "mutually beneficial" for both countries.

Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea and reassured Japan of United States commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions in a series of meetings with Japan's leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Security issues, chiefly Washington's tens relations with North Korea, economic issues, and trade imbalances are expected to take center stage.

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the US's reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

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Japan-U.S. trade has undergone a transformation from an era in which U.S. deficits were conspicuous.

"As the President says, it's time for them to behave, to listen to the world community and to set aside their nuclear ambitions, their ballistic missile ambitions, and be willing to join the family of nations", Mr Pence told CNN.

The Vice President praised the good economic relations between the two countries but stressed the need to "be honest about where our trade relationship is falling short".

White House officials said the economic meetings in Tokyo, with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and other officials, will help forge a framework for a new U.S. -Japan economic dialogue launched by President Donald Trump and Abe during the Japanese leader's visit to the U.S.in February.

Trump's new strategy involves engaging with North Korea's neighbors to bring an end to their pursuit of nuclear weapons, Pence said.

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The vice president said the US would honor its alliance with Pacific Rim nations and protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the sea lanes vital to global shipping where China has been staking claim to disputed territory.

Pence's trip comes almost three months after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal that with US participation represented almost 40 percent of global gross domestic product worth $30 trillion.

North Korea has repeatedly ignored China's calls for denuclearization and other steps to calm tensions on the peninsula, and relations between the two are believed to have sunk to their lowest level in years.

Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan Wednesday, Pence reiterated the U.S. and its allies were prepared to respond to potential North Korean attack with "overwhelming" force.

ITV News' Senior International Correspondent John Irvine said that the United States say all options are on the table, but first and foremost it is a negotiating table at which they will lean on China.

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The U.S.is trying to ratchet up pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

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