Vice President Pence warns North Korea: 'Era of strategic patience is over'

Cheryl Sanders
April 18, 2017

Pence's visit to the tense DMZ dividing North and South Korea came at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia and underscored US commitment.

Pence, sporting a brown bomber jacket, made his comments during an announced visit to the tense Demilitarized Zone that serves as a buffer between the stretch of land dividing North and South, allowing him to literally stare at North Korean soldiers from afar as he offered his vaguely threatening remarks.

He told reporters that President Trump was hopeful China would use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its weapons programme, a day after North Korea attempted another missile launch. Pence told CNN that the United States plans to "redouble our efforts to bring economic and diplomatic pressure" on North Korea, in conjunction with allies and hopefully China as well.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", he declared.

"We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan, but as you know and the United States knows, peace comes through strength and we will stand strongly with Japan and strongly with our allies for a peace and security in this region", Pence added. He says any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea will be met with "an overwhelming and effective response".

Pence said that President Trump has made it clear that the USA has run out of patience when it comes to North Korea.

Kim In Ryong, North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, speaking to reporters during a press conference on Monday, April 17, 2017.

The high-profile failure came as a powerful US aircraft supercarrier approached the Korean Peninsula and as thousands of USA and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were deployed in their biggest-ever joint military exercises.

Officials say the USA administration is focusing on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

In Moscow, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said he hoped the U.S. would not carry out "unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria".

For its part, China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the situation was "highly sensitive, complicated and high risk" and all sides should "avoid taking provocative actions".

North Korea showed off its military arsenal including two new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missile during its annual military parade on Saturday.

"All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country", he said during a visit to the demilitarised zone that separates North and South Korea.

"Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger", he told them.

"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region", Pence said.

Gold prices ended higher Monday as tensions between the us and North Korea weighed on the dollar. -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ. He'll be meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we believe, and also Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso to talk about the trade relationship while in Japan. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

Pence's visit came amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula. Pence has also warned North Korea to not test the U.S.

The White House offered another stern message for North Korea Monday: Don't test us. The stance is sparking concerns among former officials in successive Democratic and Republican administrations who say Trump appears to be abandoning a pillar of USA efforts to urge China's cooperation on North Korea.

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