Japan and the United States agreed on Wednesday to continue the "maximum" pressure on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, while China called for dialogue during the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting US Vice-President Mike Pence confirmed in Tokyo the necessity of close cooperation between their countries and with the Republic of Korea to deal with the threat from the DPRK's nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development, according to Kyodo News.
Pence said all options including military action are on the table in terms of US policy on DPRK.
"We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Japan, the people of South Korea and our allies and partners across the region until we achieve the global objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Pence said.
Through the strong bond of the Japan-US alliance, we stand ready to address the issue of DPRK and other challenges, Abe said.
Pence, who arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday, visited Japan's Defense Ministry, participated in a briefing on threat from the DPRK and observed the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 ground-based missile interceptors deployed there.
US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, in a telephone conversation on Tuesday, agreed that "all responsible nations must increase pressure on North Korea until it turns to the path of denuclearization", the White House said.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that Beijing called for Washington and Pyongyang to grab the chance to de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and use the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as an opportunity to take positive steps toward dialogue.
The international community has been waiting to see whether the US and the DPRK will contact during the Olympics, Geng said.
"Contradiction between the US and DPRK is the core of the Korean Peninsula issue, as direct parties, the two countries should enhance mutual understanding and build mutual trust through dialogue to create conditions to finally resolve the issue," he said.
China hopes both countries proceed from the situation of regional peace and stability and seize the opportunity to positively conduct dialogue, he added.
Teng Jianqun, director of the department of US studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said Pence's trip shows the Trump administration hopes to use political suppression, diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions accompanied with military threat so as to achieve the goal of crushing the DPRK government.
"The US administration has stressed many times putting pressure on the DPRK because the US hopes Pyongyang and Seoul do not become too 'intimate', which could cost the US its chance to participate and meddle in the regional affairs," Teng said.