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Pence Tells North Korea: 'The Era Of Strategic Patience Is Over'
18 April 2017, 02:33 | Clarence Schmidt
Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea and the US.
The unannounced visit Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia was a US show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire. "This is something President Trump is going to deal with in the first year".
But Mr Pence and South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn said they were troubled by retaliatory moves by China against the deployment of in South Korea of a U.S. anti-missile system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
Throughout his bareknuckle election campaign, US President Donald Trump repeatedly called into question a mutual defense treaty between Japan and the United States, suggesting Tokyo should pay for its own security.
"There was a period of strategic patience but the era of strategic patience is over", Pence said.
China today denied any political motive in the cancellation of flights by its flag carrier to North Korea, as pressure mounts on Beijing to help curb Pyongyang's weapons programmes. "We do not accept the reckless nuclear missile actions of Pyongyang that breach United Nations resolutions, but that does not mean that you can break global law", Lavrov said, adding that he hoped there would not be any "unilateral actions like the one we saw recently in Syria".
When asked for his message to North Korea after its failed missile launch on Sunday, Trump responded, "They gotta behave".
North Korea did not report the cause of the problem.
The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders at the joint U.S.
On Monday, Pence, while standing alongside South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, in Seoul, vowed that Washington's commitment to its ally against any possible aggression by the North was "iron-clad and immutable", reiterating that "all options are on the table", including military offensive, to forestall Pyongyang's quest to make a nuclear weapon capable of striking the USA mainland.
The Korean DMZ is 160 miles long and 2½ miles wide. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".
"It's time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully", he said. However, it says the programs are meant to protect the country from United States hostility. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the US would rely on its allies as well as on Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea. The high-profile failure came as the North tried to showcase its nuclear and missile capabilities around the birth anniversary of the North's late founder and as a USA aircraft carrier neared the Korean Peninsula. Last week, Trump himself told The Wall Street Journal that he didn't actually understand China's position on North Korea until the president of China, Xi Jinping, explained it to him.
"US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific", said Commander Dave Benham, spokesman at US Pacific Command.
Over the weekend following the 105th birthday celebrations of the state's founder, Pyongyang tested what most experts believe was a medium range missile which exploded immediately after leaving the launch pad.
The national security adviser said that the administration's recent actions in Syria and elsewhere have demonstrated that Trump "is comfortable making the tough decisions".
The US has hoped that China would use the fact that it is North Korea's largest - only - trading partner as leverage.
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