North Korea accuses USA of aggravating regional tension

Nick Mcbride
April 21, 2017

Degrading North Korea's missile capability via hacking is a tactic that is actively being pursued by the United States military, according to public statements and congressional testimony by current and former members of the armed forces.

Yesterday China expressed "serious concern" at North Korea's nuclear development. It will be followed by an official meeting with the Indonesian president and press conference.

His remarks also coincided with an embarrassing US admission on Tuesday that an aircraft carrier Trump said 10 days ago was sailing to waters off the Korean Peninsula was in fact heading in the opposite direction.

South Korea's conservative candidate for its May presidential election, Hong Joon-pyo, told The Wall Street Journal of the carrier mix-up: "What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea".

US Vice President Mike Pence Thursday praised Indonesia's moderate form of Islam as "an inspiration" at the start of a visit to the Muslim-majority country seen as a bid by his administration to heal divisions with the Islamic world.

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

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese leaders have begun talks expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region, though tensions with North Korea loomed large.

The government agreed to significantly lower tariffs on beef and other agricultural products as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, from which the United States has announced it will withdraw.

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The New York Times reported last month that President Donald Trump inherited a cyberwar on North Korea in the hope of sabotaging its missile tests.

"Being aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, seeing these extraordinary soldiers, sailors, and Marines gives me great confidence that the United States' presence in the region is strong and under President Trump's leadership will be stronger still", Pence said.

He said the US plans to strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and remained dedicated to the protection of Japan.

During the Japan portion of his regional visit, the vice president will travel to Tokyo where he will meet with Prime Minister Shinz Abe and lead the inaugural U.S. -Japan Economic Dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Tar As.

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

Pence, joined by his wife and daughters, later went on a tour of Jakarta's Istiqlal mosque, posing for pictures in the massive empty courtyard and walking through the five-storey prayer hall, big enough to hold 200,000 people.

During a visit to the headquarters of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, Pence confirmed that President Trump will attend three regional summits in November: a U.S. -ASEAN and East Asia summit in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vietnam.

Pence also said comments from the White House on the whereabouts of the USS Carl Vinson Navy Strike Group were not purposefully misleading.

Other reports by VgToday

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