Pence says US stands by ally Japan on North Korea problem

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and U.S.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence shake hands prior to a luncheon hosted by Abe at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Pence arrived in Japan for talks Tuesday expected to focus largely on trade with America’s anchor ally in the region. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool) (Credit: AP)

(AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that the United States stands “100 percent” behind its anchor ally in Asia in working to defuse risks from North Korea’s nuclear program.

Pence struck a stern tone as he began talks with Abe and other Japanese leaders after arriving at a U.S. naval base from South Korea.

“We appreciate the challenging…

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