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TOKYO (Reuters) – US Vice President Mike Pence reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.
Pence arrived in Tokyo from South Korea, where he assured leaders of an “iron-clad” alliance with the United States in the face of the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions.
North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and it showed no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles in Pyongyang.
“The era of strategic patience is over and while all options are on the table, President (Donald) Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region and with China to achieve a peaceable resolution and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” Pence said in Tokyo before lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“We appreciate the challenging time in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocation across the Sea of Japan. We are with you 100 percent,” he said.