Pence in Japan to discuss N. Korea

The Yomiuri ShimbunU.S. Vice President Mike Pence was to arrive in Tokyo on Tuesday and is scheduled to hold talks Wednesday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.

Pence will travel to Seoul on Thursday to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Abe and Pence will confirm a policy of continuing to apply pressure on Pyongyang, which has adopted a conciliatory stance related to its participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, according to sources.

It is Pence’s second visit to Japan, with his first coming in April last year. It is unusual for a U.S. vice president to visit Japan twice within about a year of assuming the post.

Coming amid continued tensions with North Korea, his latest visits to Japan and South Korea are aimed at calling for a strong alliance with the two nations, and at clarifying that the United States will defend Japan and South Korea against North Korean threats, the sources said.

During the talks, Abe and Pence will confirm the importance of implementing U.N. Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions against North Korea. They are expected to agree to cooperate to prevent North Korea from smuggling goods in international waters in an attempt to evade sanctions, they said.

Pence and Moon are expected to confirm the importance of trilateral cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea, and to reach a consensus on resuming U.S.-South Korea joint military drills after the Olympics and Paralympics, according to the sources.

Pence also will call on Seoul to implement the 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement on the issue of comfort women, they said. He plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday.Speech

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