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US VP Pence assures Japan: America is with you ‘100 percent’

TOKYO — From two continents, top Trump administration officials warned Tuesday that North Korea’s latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the United States was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

While Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denounced North Korea’s weapons test as he began a Mideast tour, Vice President Mike Pence offered support to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo amid a trip dominated by concerns about the rogue state’s nuclear intentions.

“We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan,” Pence said after arriving from Seoul for talks with Abe. “We are with you 100 percent.”

At the outset of their meeting, Pence reiterated to Abe his statement in South Korea that the United States has run out of patience with Pyongyang’s moves.