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Pence: US not seeking North Korea negotiations

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Pence puts Japan on notice that Washington wants results "in the near future" from talks it hopes will open markets to USA goods, adding that the dialogue could lead to negotiations on a two-way trade deal.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is wrapping up his visit to Japan with a stop at a youth baseball and softball event outside Tokyo.

So Pence struck a stern tone after arriving at a U.S. naval base from South Korea.

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool).

Trump administration officials in recent days have said the Obama administration's strategy of "strategic patience" was over.

Trump has taken issue with the United States' trade deficits with such countries as China and Japan, while maintaining that the USA dollar has strengthened too much against some currencies. "We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable".

The US Navy's decision to reroute an aircraft carrier strike group destined for Australia to the "western Pacific" sparked speculation it was heading to the Korean Peninsula, adding to the jitters in the region.

A ship bell signaled his arrival Wednesday morning on the USS Ronald Reagan at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo.

"The president's vision for this is very straightforward", Pence told CNN's Dana Bash in an interview in Tokyo.

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

Pence was speaking during a visit to border between the DPRK and its neighbour South Korea, where tensions have been fraught in recent months as Kim Jong-un's regime steps up its missile programme.

A Japanese official says a difference in approach remains with the US despite an agreement on a framework for new bilateral economic talks. Soon after Trump took office, he pulled the USA out of the TPP - which needed all the signatory nations to ratify the deal.

The Trump administration seeks to foster closer trade ties with Japan and the two sides are expected to open a comprehensive economic dialogue during the talks.

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Pence, his wife Karen and two daughters walked inside the main hall of colorful Senso-ji temple Tuesday as incense burned.

Into this tense environment, Mr. Pence made his first trip to the region since taking office in January.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. will not relent until it achieves its objective of ensuring the Korean Peninsula is free of nuclear weapons. "This is the first option although there are other options on the table", he added.

"The economic partnership between the USA and Japan will continue to grow and flourish", he added.

"Japan, though, is unwilling to give up on the TPP, and it's organizing other member nations to move ahead without the U.S".

"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region", Pence said.

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that the USA considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region.

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", he said.

"We are with you 100 percent, don't doubt it for a second", Pence told listeners during roughly 17-minute remarks.

Pence's trip to Korea comes amid increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, with Pyongyang's ambassador to the United Nations the latest to weigh in.

Pence was joined by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Toyota President Akio Toyoda and executives from General Motors, 3M and Aflac.

North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile off its east coast Sunday but ultimately failed, according to USA and South Korean military officials.

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