UN Security Council threatens new sanctions on N.Korea

The comments were made alongside South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday after a visit to the "Demilitarized Zone" located between the north and the south where 28,500 USA troops are stationed.

North Korea has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions and has said it has developed a missile that can strike the U.S. mainland.

"The era of strategic patience is over and while all options are on the table, President (Donald) Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region and with China to achieve a peaceable resolution and the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" Pence said in Tokyo before lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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

"Today we are beginning a process of economic dialog", he said in Tokyo.

The U.S. Office of the United State's Trade Representative's 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, the first released under the Trump administration, said that between 2011 and 2015, overall U.S. -Korea goods and services trade rose from $126.5 billion to $146.8 billion.

China defended its trade practices on Tuesday after Chinese-made vehicles were seen towing ballistic missiles during a North Korea military parade despite global sanctions against selling military hardware to Pyongyang.

North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador has accused the United States of turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

"We are fully prepared to handle it", Han said. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the spectre of a potential test and an escalated USA response has followed Mr Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.

United States experts believe that only China has sufficient economic and political leverage to restrain Pyongyang's drive to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States mainland with a nuclear warhead.

"As the president says, it's time for them to behave", the vice president said on CNN's "New Day".

Before the free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in 2012, South Korea's trade surplus against the United States stood at $11.6 billion at end-2011.

The Trump administration has said military action remains an option for dealing with North Korea.

"A track TEL is not an optimal TEL in North Korea to have for its missiles".

The advisor said there is still a problem to be solved before the THAAD battery is deployed and operational here and it will be decided by the next South Korean president.

But Mr. Pence said the remarks were actually encouraging.

"I didn't soften my stance", Trump said in an interview with Fox News.

Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade.

A day after North Korea launched its latest test missile, an experiment that ultimately fizzled out, Mr Pence said the USA was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to persuade the North to give up its nuclear arms.

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