Abe, Pence reaffirm cooperation on North Korea
NHK -- Nov 14
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged greater cooperation with the United States on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Abe met US Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Abe said, "Today, Vice President Pence and I had an in-depth discussion on North Korea. And we have agreed on the need for complete compliance with the UN Security Council's resolutions to achieve a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."

Pence said, "The pressure campaign will continue, the sanctions will remain in full force, until we achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea. The United States, Japan and the world will accept nothing less."

North Korea has been hit with a number of UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

They target in part exports of coal and oil.

The country has been accused of trying to evade the sanctions through illicit maritime trade -- something Abe addressed. He said, "We have also reaffirmed that Japan and the United States should continue to cooperate to respond to ship-to-ship cargo transfers banned by the UN Security Council resolution."

Pence and Abe also touched on trade.

Earlier this year, Abe and the US President agreed to enter into negotiations on a trade agreement.

The US is looking to lower its trade deficit with the country -- a statement Pence echoed.

He said, "The United States has had a trade imbalance with Japan for too long, and American products and services too often face barriers to compete fairly in Japanese markets. It's for that reason that we welcome steps that have been taken to address these issues over the past two years, beginning with the US-Japan Economic Dialogue.

But the best opportunity of free, fair and reciprocal trade will come in a bilateral trade agreement.

News source: NHK
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