North Korea: Mike Pence says 'time for failed dialogue is over'

Henrietta Brewer
April 19, 2017

Trump also would not comment on whether the United States sabotaged a failed North Korean missile test over the weekend, and said "we will find out" when asked what happens if North Korea launches another missile.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed Tuesday to involve China more in restraining North Korea and to keep military action as an option while pursuing a peaceful resolution to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations.

In a sign of Beijing's hardening attitude, the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, said in an editorial on Monday that China could enforce "stricter measures" against North Korea, including a ban on oil exports, or join a US -led effort to block the North's access to worldwide financial markets.

The spectacle was followed by a test of their so-called intercontinental missile, which failed just five seconds after launch, observers in the US and South Korea said.

North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador, Kim In-ryong, accused Washington on Monday of creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

"The alliance between the United States and Japan is the cornerstone of peace and security in Northeast Asia", he told Abe.

That was followed by more threats to launch missiles and maybe even a nuclear one against the United States.

USA vice-president Mike Pence has again hinted at the use of military force to deal with North Korea's accelerating nuclear weapons programme, warning that: "all options are on the table".

"There is an worldwide consensus now, including the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just can not continue", H.R. McMaster, Trump's US national security adviser, said in an interview with CNBC.

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. They also say greater Chinese cooperation is vital.

Unlike Obama, however, Trump has chose to confront this threat head-on, dispatching what he called a "very powerful" armada to the Korean Peninsula as a sign of strength and a show of solidarity with the United States' allies in the region, South Korea and Japan. "Of course I think that any country will feel that political diplomatic means are of course the first choice", Wang said.

Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade.

Pence called the USA commitment to Japan unwavering, adding that its agreement to defend Japanese territory will continue to include the Senkaku Islands, which China also claims as its own. China released trade data last week which shows it has actually increased trade with North Korea by almost 40 percent this year.

"What am I going to do in the middle of him talking to North Korea I'm going to hit him with currency manipulation?" said Trump.

The trip so far has been dominated by USA and allies' concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile development efforts.

Pence told reporters Monday that Trump was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure the North to abandon its weapons program.

Pence's warning to North Korea comes just days after ex-officials under former President Obama admitted that Obama's wimpiness against foreign adversaries "left a more risky world".

Other reports by iNewsToday