Japan says Pacific Rim pact offers best trade deals

Candice Alexander
April 21, 2017

Xi, however, has yet to meet North Korea's young leader Kim Jong Un since the Chinese president took power in 2012 and ties between the two countries have become more distant since Pyongyang began accelerating its missile and nuclear programmes since Kim became leader at the end of 2011.

The Vicepresident defended the need of an agreement for both parts that allows USA exporters a full participation in the Indonesian market.

From the wind-swept deck of a massive aircraft carrier, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the USA military, promising it would make an "overwhelming and effective" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

In South Korea and Japan, Pence played down protectionist declarations of "America first" and reaffirmed USA treaty commitments to the security of the two countries as tensions rise over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

But if Pyongyang is nervous that worldwide sanctions are about to bite, it has not shown it, and senior officials have vowed to continue nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that South Korea would strengthen its alliance with the United States and closely cooperate with China to rein in North Korea.

"The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he said.

Tokyo is the second stop on Pence's 10-day tour of Asia, a trip aimed at emphasizing that U.S. President Donald Trump wants to boost U.S. trade in the region even though he has abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact.

But, mindful that this would likely trigger massive retaliation and casualties in South Korea and Japan, U.S. officials say Trump's main focus is on tougher economic sanctions. In brief comments, Jokowi said they agreed to boost cooperation.

"If the USA comes up with a unsafe military option, then the first card is in our hands, then we'll deal with it with our pre-emptive strike", he said.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula. He added, "This is their first choice".

The Trump administration wants to attract more foreign direct investment, hoping to attract some with a $1 trillion plan to rebuild USA roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

But North Korea used Chinese-made trucks to display missiles at the military parade on Saturday, according to photographs, underlining the difficulty in enforcing United Nations sanctions.

"North Korea has vastly increased the threat that it poses to the region and global peace, so any rise in tensions is entirely due to the provocative behaviour of North Korea", Ms Bishop said. Japanese officials counter that Tokyo accounts for a much smaller chunk of America's deficit than in the past, while China's imbalance is much bigger.

Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development.

He said that under President Donald Trump, the US will stand up to its enemies with its allies.

Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers marching through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung.

Other reports by VgToday

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