Pence takes message of US resolve against North Korea to Japan

Jerome Frank
April 19, 2017

Pence reiterated that after years of North Korea testing the US and its neighbors in East Asia with its nuclear ambitions, the USA "era of strategic patience is over". As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor.

North Korea showed off an array of weapons including missiles in a military parade Saturday before an unsuccessful ballistic missile test the following day.

North Korea's nuclear weapons programme poses a "serious threat" to Australia unless it is stopped by the global community, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is warning.

"The era of strategic patience is over".

"The TPP is a thing of the past for the United States of America", he said.

During a press conference with acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, Pence showed concerns about Beijing's retaliatory measures for Seoul's decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, an advanced USA missile defense system.

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis", NK Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol said.

The president's warning comes as a senior North Korean official has told the BBC, North Korea will continue to test missiles regularly and any military action against it by the United States would prompt "all out war". -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ. On April 11, he tweeted: "North Korea is looking for trouble".

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Japan to deliver a message to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

The recent surge in tensions on the Korean Peninsula finds Beijing on the outs with both North and South Korea, while many critics have yet to be convinced by its insistence that its influence with Pyongyang has been exaggerated.

North Korea recently unveiled footage of a simulated nuclear strike on a USA city to celebrate a major national holiday.

On Sunday, Mr Trump wrote on Twitter that China was working with the U.S. on "the North Korea problem".

In the meantime, North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador accused the United States of turning the Korean peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

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According to a report in Guardian on Tuesday, the United States is exploring ways short of war to pressure the country into denuclearisation, particularly if Pyongyang goes forward with a sixth nuclear test.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un assumed control of the country following his father's death in 2011 and has quickly set about shoring up power, pushing ahead with North Korea's nuclear program, and reportedly executing hundreds of people.

North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador Kim In Ryong said during a news conference that the USA was turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a unsafe distuation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity. -South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill".

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", Han told the BBC in an interview, threatening "all-out war" if the USA took any action against it, according to AFP.

The video, presented during an orchestral performance held as a celebratory activity marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, showed an intercontinental ballistic missile soaring across the Pacific Ocean and obliterating an American city.

Earlier this month, China's General Administration of Customs said that the country's trade with North Korea grew 37.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Asked what North Korea must do, he repeated that "all options are on the table, and there they will remain".

"We'll see what he can do". Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Along with the deployment of the US aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of USA and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were deployed last month in their biggest joint military exercises.

"What am I going to do in the middle of him talking to North Korea?"

"The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he said.

"China has been performing its worldwide obligations strictly, including those stipulated in the Security Council resolution".

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two a year ago. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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