Pence vows 'overwhelming' response to North Korea

16 May, 2017, 09:13 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Trump China US working on'North Korea problem

It appears Trump and other US leaders are hoping China, long a patron of North Korea, will put pressure on dictator Kim Jong Un to back away from his military buildup.

Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence warned it would be unwise to test the "resolve" of Mr Trump and said "all options are on the table" to deal with the threat posed by Pyongyang.

Expanding on Mr Trump's remarks, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the President would not be "drawing lines in the sand" over rising tensions in the Korean peninsula.

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the United States reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

But the vice president said he is encouraged and believes North Korea is listening to the Trump administration's concerns. He also added that an "all-out war" would result if the USA took military action against the country.

Lu Chao, director of the Chinas Border Studies Institute at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the latest test, despite its failure, could be another defiant message from Pyongyang that it will not change its tough stance in the face of U.S. pressure even though the failure showed that Pyongyangs missile technology was flawed. Is China going to cooperate with the US to contain North Korea?

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence said.

Pence's advisers said the vice president would make the case to Abe and Aso that the USA rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, under Trump does not signal a US withdrawal from trade and economic development in the region.

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"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC's John Sudworth. The U.S. now has about 30,000 American troops stationed in neighboring South Korea, with frequent American military exercises' occurring in the surrounding area.

Shortly after the US' stringent warning, North Korea responded with shrill rhetoric, with its envoys at home and at the United Nations relaying fresh threats of far more frequent weapons tests, a pre-emptive strike and even nuclear war.

North Korea's latest missile test fizzled over the weekend, but its weapons development has appeared to make steady progress in recent years.

A submarine missile is paraded across the Kim Il-sung Square during a military parade, in Pyongyang, North Korea on Saturday.

Asked about his visit to Saudi Arabia, Mattis said the desert kingdom is a "pillar of our security framework for the region". All along, the goal has been to induce North Korea to open up to the outside world and roll back its nuclear and missile programs.

The loss of USA participation in the TPP was a blow to Japan following strenuous negotiations, especially over opening access wider to its long-protected farm sector.

"The era of strategic patience is over".

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