Millennium Post

Pence in Japan to discuss N.Korea and economic ties

US Vice President Mike Pence have visited Japan on Tuesday to hold discussions on North Korean crisis and bilateral economic ties.

Pence in Japan to discuss N.Korea and economic ties
US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday arrived in Japan. He is there for a three-day visit to hold talks on the North Korean crisis and bilateral economic ties, a media report said.

Pence's aircraft landed at Atsugi airbase, near here, shortly after midday, NHK news reported.

Later in the day, he was scheduled to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He will also attend the first session of a new Japan-US economic dialogue.

Departing from South Korea earlier, Pence was continuing the second leg of his 10-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, Efe news said.

Pence will have a working lunch with Abe here. Later he would meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, with whom he will hold a joint press conference.

The issue on the table in both meetings will be the tension in the region in the face of repeated North Korean weapons tests, the latest one being on Sunday.

Washington has responded to the situation by sending the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its US Navy strike group to waters off the Korean peninsula.

On the other hand, Pyongyang, far from defusing any tension, has recently paraded what could be new models of intercontinental ballistic missiles, during a military parade.

In addition, it was feared that Pyongyang could soon conduct a new nuclear test, which would exacerbate the situation in the region.

On Monday in Seoul, Pence talked about the recent US military attacks on Syria and Afghanistan and warned Pyongyang of the possible danger from challenging US President Donald Trump's determination.

Japan, an important ally of the US and one of the countries that are most vulnerable to North Korea's missile tests, is considering the possibility of supporting the USS Carl Vinson and its attack fleet in manoeuvres in waters near the Korean peninsula.

During Pence's visit, Tokyo and Washington would also launch discussions on high-level bilateral economic topics.

This new forum, which would be chaired by Pence and Aso, will deal with issues such as trade policy, a sensitive area in the wake of Trump's "America First" policies, as well as investment regulations, infrastructure and energy cooperation.



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