U.S. vice president also confirms U.S. will honor—reluctantly—refugee deal with Australia
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
SYDNEY—A peaceful end to growing tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile ambitions remains possible thanks to China, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday.
“The United States of America is determined to work with our allies, and especially with China, to achieve the objective of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,” Mr. Pence said at a press conference here. “We believe that can occur peaceably, largely owing to the new engagement of China.”
Recent steps being taken by China in the area of economic pressure on North Korea are “unprecedented,” Mr. Pence said, but added “we do believe China can do more.” He didn’t elaborate on the measures being taken by China, but Beijing in February announced it would suspend North Korean coal imports, depriving Pyongyang of a key source of revenue.
In Australia as part of a week-long regional visit to meet with Asia-Pacific allies, Mr. Pence also said the USS Carl Vinson naval strike group would be “in position” in the Sea of Japan “in a matter of days.”