US Free Trade Deal With South Korea Falling Short, Pence Warns

Monday morning Pence arrived at Camp Bonifas, near the DMZ, and will join Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, in a motorcade to the DMZ. On Wednesday, Pence is scheduled to visit the U.S. Navy's Yokosuka base and give a lecture in Tokyo.

Read the latest on Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January.

"We have to be honest where our trade relationship is falling short", he said at a meeting with business leaders in Seoul on Tuesday. They say it fails to take into account the complex patterns of global trade, pointing out that the USA has run big deficits during periods of strong economic growth.

"You could either go after the supply chain, embedding flaws in parts and systems that they are using", said Peter Singer, fellow at New America and author of the book "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know". It also comes at a time when Asian and Pacific nations have flagged concerns about growing protectionism in the USA, although Trump seems to have changed course on some key trade issues, such as labeling China a currency manipulator. Details on the vice president's meetings with officials in the four countries is scant, but a statement released by the White House shows that business issues will figure prominently, and senior officials from the four countries have indicated that trade is likely to come up.

Trump has accused both Japan and South Korea of imposing barriers on USA automobile exports and keeping their currencies weak, hurting jobs for Americans and fueling trade imbalances.

Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking carrier Ronald Reagan that President Trump's administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan and China to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

The Trump team has signaled it intends to chart a new path when it comes to dealing with North Korea, though analysts say there aren't too many new options to try.

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Pence also said the United States would protect freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, where Beijing is entangled in territorial rows with several Southeast Asia nations.

The people of North Korea, the military of North Korea should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our ally.

North Korea has repeatedly ignored China's calls for denuclearization and other steps to calm tensions on the peninsula, and relations between the two are believed to have sunk to their lowest level in years.

Asked what North Korea must do, he repeated that "all options are on the table, and there they will remain". Lu said Beijing wants to resume the multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009 and suggested that US plans to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China.

President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out, and we want to see change.

Mr Trump has previously said he hopes China will lean on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons and missiles programme, but that if it did not, the United States will act alone to eliminate the threat.

  • Megan Austin