U.S. vice president Pence wraps up visit to Japan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-19 16:38:24|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday reiterated the commitment to working with Japan and other countries in the region to bring an end to nuclear and missile issues on the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking aboard the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier docked at the U.S. Navy's Yokosuka base, Pence said a diligent and collaborative approach to deescalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula was the way forward.

"U.S. policy is to continue to work diligently with Japan and other countries, including China, to bring economic and diplomatic pressure on the regime in North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) until the country abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs," Pence told an assembly of U.S. servicemen and Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel.

"All options are on the table," Pence said.

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in talks with Pence, said Japan was appreciative of U.S. President Donald Trump's stance that has repeatedly stated that "all options, including military action" are "on the table to pressure the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapon and missile development ambitions."

Pence on Wednesday also restated the U.S. commitment to a peaceful resolution to the DPRK's missile and nuclear programs but intimated that it would be no pushover.

"The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Donald Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready," said Pence.

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

A day earlier in talks with Abe, Pence said the Trump administration remained committed to working together with regional stakeholders to ensure a peaceful Korean Peninsula, stating that Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, South Korea, China and all allies in the region to achieve a peaceable solution and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Prior to Pence's arrival from South Korea, Abe on Monday called for increased diplomacy rather than the use of force in dealing with the current situation regarding tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The DPRK has conducted multiple missile tests and two nuclear tests in the past 18 months, with the United States' recent deployment of an aircraft carrier unit to the region after holding large-scale "war games" near the peninsula also stoking concerns.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China welcomes the United States to play a positive role in peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula issue. He added that seeking a peaceful solution to the Korean Peninsula issue is a right direction and meets the interests of all related parties.

Dialogue and consultation are the only way to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, said Lu, reaffirming China's stance.

After leaving Japan Wednesday, Pence's Asia-Pacific tour will continue with visits to Indonesia and Australia before returning to the United States.