Japan's Abe stresses need for 'pressure' on North Korea
Throughout his bareknuckle election campaign, US President Donald Trump repeatedly called into question a mutual defense treaty between Japan and the United States, suggesting Tokyo should pay for its own security.
Trump spoke shortly after Vice President Mike Pence visited the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.
He also warned the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, that the "era of strategic patience" was over. North Korea's vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol told BBC that missiles will be tested weekly.
North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador has accused the United States of turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hoped to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.
"We should stay on our toes to protect our territory and people's lives", Hwang said.
The defiant message comes as a North Korean diplomat at the United Nations warned the world that nuclear war "may break out at any moment".
Pyongyang is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them a year ago.
North Korea has taken "self-defensive" measures in response to USA threats of military action and these reflect Pyongyang's determination to "counter nukes and ICBM in kind", Kim said, referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles.
At the outset of his meeting with Abe, Pence said that "While all options are on the table", Trump was determined to work with Japan, South Korea and other allies in the region to resolve the problem.
China is considered key to changing North Korea's behavior because it is an economic lifeline for its much smaller neighbor.
Kim stressed that US-South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill" aimed at his country, formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
During the interview - which aired the morning after Trump live-tweeted the show - host Ainsley Earhardt raised the topic of North Korea. The vice president's team has said that the main objective of his visit is to increase USA access to Japanese markets, as well as to push for more investment in the US. Soon after Trump took office, he pulled the USA out of the TPP - which needed all the signatory nations to ratify the deal. In recent months and years, we have seen the North persistently pursuing nuclear and missile programmes despite tough worldwide sanctions and pressure from different countries. There had been expectations the North would also carry out its sixth nuclear test, but no test occurred.
Monday afternoon, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang called for the resumption of "multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009", according to The Associated Press.
"I've seen that the United States has reiterated it is willing to use political and diplomatic means to resolve this, as this is their first choice", he told reporters in Beijing. I think you're not going to see him telegraphing how he's going to respond to any military or other situation going forward'.
Pence's trip will also feature a heavy economic focus.
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