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,” Pence said at a press conference in Sydney, Australia. “We believe that can occur peaceably, largely owing to the new engagement of China.”
In Australia as part of a week-long regional visit to meet with Asia-Pacific allies, Pence also said the USS Carl Vinson naval strike group would be “in position” in the Sea of Japan “in a matter of days.”
See: Aircraft carrier supposedly sent as warning to North Korea sailed in opposite direction
Pence’s visit to Australia is also seen as a bid to mend relations between Canberra and Washington, which soured early this year when U.S. President Donald Trump described a contentious deal to take in up to 1,250 refugees now in the care of Australia as “dumb.”
In a joint press conference Saturday with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, held on the shores of Sydney Harbour, Pence committed the U.S. to honoring the deal.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.
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