Pence says US set on ensuring nuclear-free Korea

10 Things to Know for Wednesday

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits Indonesia on Thursday as part of his 10-day visit to Asia, and a range of topics will be on the docket.

"I think the path of negotiations with North Korea has been a colossal failure now for more than 25 years", Pence told the Washington Post. "But under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready".

"It went well", said Toyota President Akio Toyoda after meeting Mr. Pence in a small group and hearing the vice president's speech to businesspeople at a Tokyo hotel on Wednesday.

Since Donald Trump took office, North Korea has launched at least eight ballistic missiles, and there is evidence that the North is preparing for a sixth nuclear test; however, there is no clear indication as to when the next test may occur.

"In line with the political mandate of President Trump, we should watch for Mike Pence focusing part of his visit on expanding USA commercial ties within Indonesia", Meredith Sumpter, Asia director for the Eurasia Group, told CNBC's "The Rundown" on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has said that it is reviewing all options on North Korea, including those involving military action, but Defense Secretary James Mattis is also underscoring the need for a non-military solution.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has reassured South Korea that America has its back on security issues.

"That kind of economic and diplomatic pressure will result we hope in the regime in Pyongyang forfeiting their ambitions, forfeiting their nuclear weapons program and join the family of nations".

"We are with you 100 per cent", he told the premier.

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He also says the era of over-regulation "is over" and Trump aims to bring in a new era of jobs and growth.

Degrading North Korea's missile capability via hacking is a tactic that is actively being pursued by the United States military, according to public statements and congressional testimony by current and former members of the armed forces.

"The policy of President Trump is to marshal the support of our allies in the region - Japan, South Korea, nations around the world, and China", he said.

"We're already seeing our allies in South Korea and Japan and the wider world standing behind us, but China is taking unprecedented steps to economically isolate North Korea and given the fact that China represents more than 80% of the exports from North Korea is enormously important", Pence said.

Military force against North Korea has always been a hard proposition.

South Korean government officials said Pence's statement did not necessarily mean a complete overhaul of the agreement.

A senior official with the Trump administration said the mistake was due to miscommunication.

"The point the President was making is that we're ready".

Pence made the remark in an interview with CNN aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, saying the focus is now on increasing pressure on the North. "Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

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