Published: Wed, May 03, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Sydney sightseeing day planned for US Vice President Mike Pence


"President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement", Pence said.

In exchange, Australia agreed to resettle individuals who were prevented from entering the United States illegally and subsequently placed in immigration camps in central America.

"I bring greetings this morning from the president of the United States", Pence told Turnbull and other Australian officials ahead of their meeting.

In his opening remarks to the meeting, Mr Pence said he and US President Donald Trump regarded the free trade agreement signed by Australia and the US in 2005 as an excellent model and a "win-win" for both countries who share a $US1.5 trillion relationship.

The Trump administration and its allies will "deal" with North Korea if China does not force the rogue state to abandon its nuclear weapons program, US Vice-President Mike Pence declared following talks with Malcolm Turnbull at Sydney's Admiralty House.

On the second full day of his whirlwind visit Mr Pence, his wife Karen and daughters Charlotte and Audrey will visit the Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo and take a harbour cruise with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

He added the reason for going forward "can rightly be seen as a reflection of the enormous importance of the historical alliance between the United States and Australia".

Mr Pence also praised Australia for calling on China to exert greater economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

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"It's a very important commitment, and we thank you for restating that today", he said.

Mr Pence would not rule out the use of military force in North Korea, repeating "all options are on the table", but stressed the United States was focused on diplomacy at this stage. "We seek leadership from China to join the leadership shown by the U.S. and Japan and Australia and other nations around the world committed to peace".

Vice President Pence said Saturday that the US will honor an agreement with Australia to take in as many as 1,250 refuges, even though President Trump called it a "dumb" deal from the Obama era.

Pence is on a 10-day, four-country trip to Asia that has taken him to South Korea, Japan and Indonesia.

"Our friendship has been forged in the fire of sacrifice", Pence said.

"China has a leverage, an ability to influence North Korea that far exceeds any others".

During his visit to Australia, Pence is also scheduled to meet with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the leader of the opposition party, Bill Shorten.

Information for this article was contributed by Kristen Gelineau and Ken Thomas of The Associated Press; by staff members of Deutsche Presse-Agentur; and by Justin Sink, David Stringer and Jackie Edwards of Bloomberg News.

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