Kim's desire for peace 'deciding factor' in US-North Korea relations

North Korean soldiers

Pence arrived in Tokyo from South Korea, where he assured leaders of an "iron-clad" alliance with the United States in the face of the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders.

His comments were met with applause by the troops. -South Korean military camp, which is just outside the 2.5-mile (4.02-kilometer)-wide DMZ. Under rainfall, Pence later stood a few meters from the military demarcation line outside Freedom House, gazing at the North Korean soldiers across the border, and then peered at a deforested stretch of North Korea from a lookout post in the hillside. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

Reuters cited a statement from a Japanese government spokesman who said that Pence and Abe agreed that they needed to persuade China to play a larger role in dealing with North Korea. Speaking to reporters, Pence said: "It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula".

North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations reiterated on the weekend that the North is ready to respond to any U.S. missile or nuclear strike.

South Korea, the US and Japan held their 9th Defense Trilateral Talks in Tokyo on Wednesday. and subsequently released a joint statement highlighting that the three countries will work closely together to find an effective way to denuclearize North Korea.

Though Pence stated the Trump wants to resolve the dispute with North Korea by peaceful means, Bloomberg reported that North Korea has indicated that it is not receptive to USA overtures for conciliation.

Mr Wang told reporters that although United States officials have made clear that a military strike remains on the table, he believes that Washington would still prefer to de-escalate tensions through multi-sided talks.

To mark the 105th birthday of Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea's state television aired footage of a choral performance followed by a video showing numerous missiles targeting U.S. cities.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis now said the flotilla won't go until this week.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.

But economic policy advisers traveling with Pence reportedly said the trip is also aimed at reassuring Washington's allies that the current administration wants to boost trade in the Asia Pacific region particularly after the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

The missile was launched from Sinpo, a port city in eastern North Korea, according to a South Korean defense official.

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", vice foreign minister Han Song-Ryol said in an interview with the BBC released late on Monday.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and it showed no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles at a parade in Pyongyang.

When asked if he had ruled out some sort of military strike against North Korea, Trump said he did not wish to reveal his plans. China released trade data last week which shows it has actually increased trade with North Korea by almost 40 percent this year.

"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!"

The US Navy's Carl Vinson strike group - consisting of an aircraft carrier and other warships - is on its way to the Western Pacific, Pacific Command said on Tuesday, following an order from President Donald Trump last week. "But the fact is that they have the overwhelming leverage over the North Korea regime", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters Tuesday in Canberra, Australia's capital.

The North held a show of military might in a parade over the weekend and tested another missile on Sunday, which the Pentagon said blew up nearly immediately after launch.

The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe continuing large-scale US and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

Pence is halfway through his four-nation Asia trip, and concerns over North Korea have been dominant.



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