Pence says working with allies to put pressure on North Korea

Pence heads to Japan for meetings

North Korea's last two missile tests ended in failure, raising questions whether the US military could be using cyber methods to disrupt North Korea tests, CNN reported. In remarks made from the State Department treaty room, Tillerson seemed to temper recently heated rhetoric about military confrontation with North Korea.

"My hope is that they'll continue to get the message not just from the United States, here in Japan, and in South Korea, but on an increasing basis from China and countries all over the world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula", he said.

"When the president says all options are on the table, all options are on the table", said Pence.

During their talks on Tuesday, Pence and Aso launched a new "economic dialogue" that will consider ways the countries can strengthen the economic side of their alliance. It will be followed by an official meeting with the Indonesian president and press conference.

The dialogue was set up by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the Japanese leader's visit to the U.S.in February.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Pence also emphasized that the US would uphold freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea - where China's actions in support of its disputed territorial claims have sparked tensions in recent years.

In South Korea and Japan, Pence played down protectionist declarations of "America first" and reaffirmed United States treaty commitments to the security of the two countries as tensions rise over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

Mr Joko's approach to foreign policy has been led more by economic interests than geopolitical considerations: he has pursued increased trade and investment from China but keeps a diplomatic distance from Beijing and established a strategic partnership with Washington under former President Barack Obama.

Now on the second leg of his 10-day trip in Asia, Pence said the Trump administration would actively work with South Korea, Japan and China to apply more economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that the US considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region.

The vice president added: "Indonesia's tradition of moderate Islam frankly is an inspiration to the world and we commend you and your people".

He also said, "We are with you 100 percent", adding that the USA always seeks peace.

Widodo, who wants more foreign investment as he seeks to boost Southeast Asia's top economy, said the leaders had focused on "the USA commitment to enhance the strategic partnership with Indonesia, focusing on cooperation and investment".

Pence, joined by his wife and daughters, later went on a tour of Jakarta's Istiqlal mosque, posing for pictures in the massive empty courtyard and walking through the five-storey prayer hall, big enough to hold 200,000 people.

His plane touched down Tuesday at the USA military's Atsugi base outside Tokyo.

Amid rising tensions over the country's nuclear ambitions, Trump said early last week that an "armada" was being sent as a warning to North Korea.

Work on shrinking trade imbalances with China and Japan is running hand-in-hand with renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, said a Republican insider close to Trump.

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