Pence Assures Japan America is With Ally '100 Percent'

Cheryl Sanders
April 18, 2017

Defying worldwide pressure, the North on Sunday tried to test-fire another missile in an attempt that failed, but which fuelled fears that it may be preparing for its sixth atomic weapons test.

"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 in Pyongyang.

Former South Korea nuclear envoy Chun Yung-woo, who later served as vice foreign minister, gave a less flattering assessment, calling Wu China's "most incompetent official", citing his lack of English and stalwart adherence to China's party line, according to a 2010 USA diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.

Pence said the TPP was a "thing of the past" and Washington would not wait forever for results from the talks.

"We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves", Kim said.

Abe said Japan likewise hopes for peaceful dialogue with Pyongyang, "but at the same time, dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless". U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gives a speech to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The press event was held hours after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. the CNN reports.

US 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 has repeatedly warned that "all options are on the table" when dealing with Pyongyang.

However, the big question is what will the Trump Administration now do?

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, AP reported.

Asked for his statements on the failed missile test, U.S. President Donald Trump said, "They gotta behave".

Kim said the DPRK's policy is shaped by the Trump administration's push for "high intensity sanctions" against the country, deploying tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and launching military action aimed at "beheading" the North's leadership headed by Kim Jong Un.

His comments followed an angry response to the hardening U.S. line on Pyongyang from North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In-ryong, who accused the USA of escalating tensions.

That deal was soon scuppered, however, when North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006 then pulled out of the discussions in 2009.

An "all-out war" would be the result of the continuing military tensions with the USA and warned North America about being "reckless enough to use military means".

During his election campaign, Donald Trump called the trade pact with Seoul, which came into effect five years ago, a destroyer of United States auto industry jobs.

Like South Korea, Japan already faces a direct threat from the secretive regime.

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", Pence said.

The Pentagon has not discussed which missile blew up after its launch Sunday from a base near Sinpo on the North's east coast, and the White House has said only that it was a medium-range device.

The Turnbull government is concerned about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's nuclear ambitions.

"That's a common failure mode for North Korean missiles very early on in their development cycle when they are working out the bugs in the propulsion and guidance system", the weapons expert told AFP.

Pence's Japanese hosts will likely be cautious about any United States military action that could trigger a broader regional conflict.

Former President Obama, too, tried to persuade China to use its influence over Pyongyang.

Other reports by iNewsToday