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Gist of meeting between PM Abe, Vice President Pence

North Korea

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vice President Mike Pence: Agreed that close security and economic cooperation between Japan and the United States and the strengthening of the bilateral alliance are of vital importance for regional peace and stability. Shared the view that North Korea’s threat has reached a new level.

 

Abe: Expressed support for the Trump administration’s stance of putting all options, including the military option, on the table instead of the Obama administration’s policy of strategic patience.

 

Pence: We understand Japan’s harsh situation in light of North Korea’s continuous provocations. We are with you 100%. President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, the ROK, and China to solve this problem. We hope China will also cooperate. The U.S., like Japan, seeks peace, and peace can only be achieved through strength.

 

Abe: Dialogue for the sake of dialogue will be meaningless. It is necessary to put pressure on North Korea to engage in serious dialogue. No world leader has ever met with Workers’ Party of Korea Chairman Kim Jong Un.

 

Abe, Pence: Agreed to strengthen cooperation to stop North Korea from further provocations through its nuclear tests and missile launches. Affirmed that further efforts will be made to urge China to exercise its influence.

 

Japan-U.S. alliance

 

Abe: Through your visit to Japan, we would like to demonstrate that the strong bonds between Japan and the U.S. under the bilateral alliance are unshakable.

 

Pence: The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of regional peace and prosperity.

 

Abe, Pence: Affirmed the promotion of further cooperation to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, including joint response by the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. forces, and to resolve the abduction issue. Agreed to hold a two-plus-two meeting at an early date.

 

Pence: Conveyed gratitude for the prime minister’s understanding of the U.S.’s attacks on Syria. Affirmed that Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, which stipulates the U.S.’s obligation to defend Japan, applies to the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa.

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