Pence Urges US Allies To 'Isolate And Pressure' North Korea
The unannounced visit at the start of Pence's 10-day trip to Asia was a US show of force that allowed him to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire. During the interview, Mr Trump only referred to the current North Korean leader as "the gentleman" and appeared to imply that both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama were dealing with the same leader in their respective tenures. "As President Trump has made clear to the world the era of strategic patience is over". "Under President Donald Trump, I can promise you, the United States will drive growth like never before", he said.
Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan Wednesday, Pence reiterated the United States and its allies were prepared to respond to potential North Korean attack with "overwhelming" force.
Noting Trump's recent military actions in Syria and Afghanistan, Pence said, "North Korea would do well not to test his resolve", or the USA armed forces in the region.
He warned, "those who would challenge our resolve or our readiness should know: We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".
North Korea conducted another banned missile test Sunday - although it reportedly failed nearly immediately after launch - the same day that North Korean state television broadcast an official concert celebrating the birthday of the country's founder Kim Il Sung, which featured graphics depicting a catastrophic missile strike on the U.S. He also met with American troops stationed at the joint U.S.
The request was made after he returned to Seoul on April 4, almost three months after he was recalled to his home amid a diplomatic row over a statue of a girl symbolizing the victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery of South Korean women. Under rainfall, Pence later stood a few meters from the military demarcation line outside Freedom House, gazing at the North Korean soldiers across the border.
"But at the same time", the prime minister said, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue". But the South Korean people are choosing a new president next month and there's a high likelihood the incoming government in Seoul will seek engagement and diplomacy with Pyongyang that would run counter to the strategy Pence is articulating.
North Korean state media last week warned of a nuclear attack on the U.S. at any sign of American aggression, but the White House said there was no evidence it possessed that capability.
North Korea is the most unsafe and urgent threat to the peace and security of the Asian Pacific. "The problem will be taken care of", President Trump insisted.
"When the president says all options are on the table, all options are on the table", said Pence.
South Korean leaders expressed strong support for Pence's approach in meetings this week in Seoul.
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He said: "We have to strengthen, that goes without saying, but we're not looking to spend huge amounts". He added in The Argus : "We're not there for just one season, we intend to be there for a while".
He said that under Trump, the USA will stand up to its enemies with its allies.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted ever-more severe warnings from Trump's administration.
The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.
Pence is on a 10-day Asia-Pacific tour that has been dominated by the North Korea issue.
"The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he said.
Ministry official Kim Chang Min also said in the interview in Pyongyang that the United Nations, the Security Council and big countries ignored South Korean missile launches and Japanese surveillance satellites.
While the United States moved an aircraft carrier to the Korean coast to intimidate Pyongyang, North Korea made a display of its missile strength and tested a missile which failed, though it was seen as an act of defiance.
The Trump administration is hoping that China will help rein in North Korea in exchange for other considerations. The shipments may have been refused simply because China didn't need them.
As they sat down for talks, Mr Pence told Mr Aso: "When President Trump agreed to this dialogue, he envisioned this as a mechanism for enhancing bilateral commercial relations between the U.S. and Japan, and achieving results in the near future". Trump tweeted on Sunday.
The U.S. administration has come under criticism following revelations that the strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was actually heading in the opposite direction despite an earlier announcement that it would be heading to waters off the Korean Peninsula.
A representative of a Sinotruk dealer says about 1,000 of its trucks are exported to North Korea annually under contracts that specify they're for civilian use.
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