Pence says US stands by ally Japan on North Korea problem

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised Indonesia's democracy and moderate form of Islam on Thursday alongside the president of the world's most populous Muslim nation, reinforcing his message with a visit to the region's largest mosque. Kim Ye-eun, a stock analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, said the KOSPI won't fluctuate drastically over tensions between the United States and North Korea as investors now largely see the South Korean economy as fundamentally sound enough to withstand such geopolitical risks.

In Japan, they said Pence's two main goals are to spur increased USA access to Japanese markets and strengthen Japanese foreign investment.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said "you'd have to be a fool" not to be anxious about what was happening in North Korea.

The United States is not looking to get into a fight with North Korea unless Pyongyang sparks one, Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told reporters, Sputnik reported.

He told the BBC: "We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

"If the United States dares opt for a military action... the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans", Kim told a news conference, using the abbreviation of the country's official name.

Meanwhile, the US, fresh off strikes on Syria and Afghanistan, has been talking tough on North Korea, with the Trump administration warning that the USA policy of "strategic patience" with the isolated country is over and that "all options are on the table".

Vice-president Mike Pence, meanwhile, said the "era of strategic patience is over" during a visit to Seoul and he told South Korea the U.S. is with the nation 100pc.

Pence said on Monday the world had witnessed Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, which saw a US missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan. The trip so far has been dominated by US and allies' concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile development efforts.

Abe and Pence affirmed that the threat from North Korea has reached a new level and it is crucial to the peace and stability of the region for Japan and the United States to strengthen their alliance, according to a Japanese official who was present.

"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan", Pence said in South Korea.

Mr Trump has ordered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and several warships to the area to highlight American concern at the situation, as China expressed fears war could erupt "at any moment".

Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump's administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang. With no U.S. Trade Representative yet in office and other key negotiator positions still unfilled, such nitty-gritty discussions will have to come later. Pressure on North Korea is crucial, the prime minister said.

"If the U.S. is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method". The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale US and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked.

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