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Pence In South Korea, Visits DMZ And US Troops

21 April 2017

President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the 12-country trade agreement after his inauguration in January.

A Japanese official says a difference in approach remains with the USA despite an agreement on a framework for new bilateral economic talks.

The vice president brought greetings from President Donald J. Trump and commended the troops for their vigilance "here along this historic frontier of freedom".

Two mobile launchers and part of THAAD elements were delivered to a USA military base in South Korea in early March, boosting expectations for a hurried deployment of the US missile shield before the election.

Aso told a news conference, "We have opened an important page of the Japan-U.S. relationship, turning from friction to cooperation".

In Seoul, Pence said he was concerned that the US trade deficit with South Korea has "more than doubled" in the five years since their free-trade agreement took effect.

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North Korea did test a missile on Sunday, but by US and South Korean accounts it failed "within seconds".

The official briefed reporters on customary condition of anonymity after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso in Tokyo to launch the U.S. -Japan Economic Dialogue.

Some economists have criticized the Trump administration's focus on trade deficits as a way of viewing USA economic ties with the rest of the world.

Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged Wednesday that some of the Trump administration's promises have not yet come to fruition, but he is confident that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will be fruitful.

Citing the threat posed by North Korean missiles, the US military has sent the first elements of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to South Korea.

"Statistics show the United States has achieved much through the free trade agreement", said Kim Kwang-doo, the head of frontrunner Moon Jae-in's campaign advisory group, told Reuters in an interview. Trump said that will be "the end determination".

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Tension has been building on the peninsula in recent days, amid warnings that the country's nuclear site is "primed and ready" for another test.

"We know the situation is tense", Wang said.

Since entering office, Trump has pressed China to use its political and economic leverage over North Korea.

"The Chinese often express frustration with North Korea, and disappointment".

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.

Information for this article was contributed by Ken Thomas, Robert Burns, Jonathan Lemire, Gerry Shih and staff members of The Associated Press; by Justin Sink, Kanga Kong, Maiko Takahashi and staff members of Bloomberg News; and by Thomas Gibbons-Neff of The Washington Post.

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Pence In South Korea, Visits DMZ And US Troops