Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Pence's New Warning to North Korea: 'The Sword Stands Ready'

Melissa Porter | 20 April, 2017, 06:21

But President Donald Trump is not backing down to end Kim Jong Un's threats once and for all.

"The officials call on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irrevocably manner, to cease its provocative actions that only increase tensions in the region", they said.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence declared.

Speaking on the deck of a massive United States aircraft carrier on Wednesday, Pence cautioned North Korea against testing the resolve of the USA military.

President Donald Trump in Washington and Pence at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea have signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions.

While the USA will continue to pursue diplomatic solutions, any conventional or nuclear attack by an enemy would be defeated "with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence told the crowd aboard the ship Wednesday.

The Trump administration has signaled a more forceful USA stance toward North Korea's recent missile tests and threats, including a warning from Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave".

The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders. -South Korean military camp, which is just outside the 2.5-mile (4.02-kilometer)-wide DMZ.

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. But he stressed: "Dialogue for dialogue's sake is meaningless".

The two confirmed during a working lunch that China's role was important in dealing with North Korea, and they needed to work on China to take on a bigger role, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters.

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.

U.S. officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

Pence said the North represents the most risky and most immediate threat in the Asia-Pacific and President Donald Trump is determined to confront that threat by marshaling unprecedented cooperation with allies in the region, China and the world.

Dr Bruce Bennett, Senior International Defense Researcher at Rand Corporation, told The Independent that Mr Trump's comment "will not be taken well in Pyongyang". "All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country", said Pence.

Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea earlier, have signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats.

Reuters reported that Pence, speaking alongside Hwang, said Washington would stand by its "ironclad alliance" with South Korea.

The Trump administration is focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.

North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC that missiles would be tested on "a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea where he started his 10-day trip to Asia on Sunday hours after the North Korean missile test.

Speaking to Fox News about rising tensions with Pyongyang, Trump repeatedly referred to "the gentleman" leading North Korea as an individual who had persistently outwitted USA administration after administration, at least as far back as the Clinton era of the 1990s.

President Trump denied he's softened his position on China to gain its help in curbing North Korea's increasing military provocations. We're gonna see what happens.