North Korean official: 'Reckless' US creating situation for nuclear war

18 April, 2017, 02:01 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

SEOUL, South Korea - US Vice President Mike Pence on Monday warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the US "or the strength of our military forces", following a failed North Korean missile test.

Noting Trump's recent military actions in Syria and Afghanistan, Pence said, "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve" or the US armed forces in the region.

Labelling North Korea's failed missile test at the weekend a "provocation", Mr Pence said the regime "would do well not to test [President Trump's] resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region". McMaster also noted that while the US hoped not to be forced to exercise its military capabilities in the region, he believed the "problem is coming to a head" and that the US is now working on options for a variety of courses of action for US President Donald Trump to choose from should "this pattern of destabilizing behavior" continue. The presence of USA forces here in South Korea are a long-standing commitment to the Asia Pacific.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a daily briefing today that the onus was on all parties - including the United States and China - to reach a peaceful solution. He also described the bond between the US and South Korea as "unshakeable" during an address on Monday.

It's unclear whether restarting negotiations might actually lead to the elimination of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

"In China they're very frustrated", said Town.

"We hope to achieve this objective (the North's denuclearisation) through peaceful means but all options are on the table", Pence told a press conference in the South Korean capital on Monday (April 17) after a trip to the tense border with the North. The US now has an aircraft carrier off North Korea's coast and has deployed additional missile defenses to South Korea.

"It's time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully", he said on ABC's "This Week" program.

"We need to apply pressure on North Korea so they seriously respond to a dialogue" with the worldwide community, he said, urging China and Russian Federation to play more constructive roles on the issue.

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The White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence told reporters that the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded about 4 to 5 seconds after it was launched.

Trump's decision to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield this month, in response to what he said was Syria's use of chemical weapons, raised questions about his plans for reclusive North Korea.

Pence is on an Asia-Pacific tour that will include visits to Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

Earlier in the day, Pence visited the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ), which he described as the "frontier of freedom", according to the report.

Trump acknowledged on Sunday that the softer line he had taken on China's management of its currency was linked to Beijing's help on the North Korea issue.

Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks, as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted ever-more bellicose warnings from Trump's administration.

Some estimates are that North Korea may have the capability to launch a missile that could hit the continental USA by the year 2020. It wants the missile battery gone, and the United States wants China to crack down on North Korea. "We've seen China begin to take some actions to bring pressure on North Korea, but there needs to be more", he said. Washington sent the aircraft carrier group "USS Carl Vinson" along with other military hardware in an apparent attempt to show force and in preparation for "all options".

"I can't see us standing by now and not doing anything", he said.

Jean Lee, a global fellow at the US-based Wilson Center, said the next president "will have a lot of bearing on what kind of policy South Korea develops towards North Korea".

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