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US, Japan agree China needs to play larger role in resolving North Korean missile crisis

US Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Tuesday that the two countries need to persuade China to play a larger role in dealing with North Korea, a Japanese government spokesman said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (L) talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Reuters

The two confirmed during a working lunch that China's role was important in dealing with North Korea, and they needed to work on China to take on a bigger role, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters.

North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile launches in recent months in defiance of United Nation sanctions and concerns have been growing that the reclusive state could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.

With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area in a show of force, fears of a confrontation have been rising.

Pence also said on Tuesday that all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea, but that President Donald Trump is determined to work with Japan, China and South Korea to find a peaceful solution.

"We appreciate the challenging time in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocation across the Sea of Japan," Pence said in Tokyo before a lunch with Abe. "We are with you 100 percent."

Abe said he supported Trump's stance that strategic patience with North Korea had run out, and that all options were on the table.


Updated Date: Apr 18, 2017 18:46 PM

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