Pence: US won't rest until North Korea gives up nuclear weapons

Faith Castro
April 20, 2017

That night, Trump called Xi up on the phone and the two men discussed North Korea again.

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".

The Trump administration is focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his country's commitment to the security of Japan yesterday, as North Korea intensified concerns over its weapons programme with a vow to launch missile tests "every week".

"All of those negotiations and discussions failed, miserably", Pence said. "The time has come for us to take a fresh approach".

Mr Kim called the news conference to "categorically reject" the USA decision to hold an open meeting of the Security Council on April 28 on North Korea's nuclear programme, which is scheduled to be chaired by U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

One of the most common refrains from Trump, Pence and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been "the era of strategic patience is over", referring to what was essentially a wait-and-see tactic to dealing with Pyongyang but is notoriously vague, says Neill.

He added, "Now all options are on the table, and there they will remain".

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"The US is disturbing global peace and stability and insisting on the gangster-like logic that its invasion of a sovereign state is "decisive, just and proportionate" and contributes to "defending" the worldwide order in its bid to apply it to the Korean peninsula as well", the ambassador said.

"It's necessary to put pressure on North Korea so that it will accept dialogue in good faith", Mr Abe said. In fact, there are some similarities.

"As you know, our relationship with North Korea is especially tense right now", he told viewers. Per Pence's explanation, the new administration wants North Korea to give up its programs in their entirety without direct talks of any kind.

Pence sought to explain the policy in meetings with South Korea Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and other top officials in Seoul at the start of the trip, which will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

The vice president met Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and reassured them of the USA commitment in the face of possible threats posed by North Korea.

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the USA considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region. Speaking to reporters, Pence said: "It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula".

While neither Japan nor the Republic of Korea had any immediate official response, a leading South Korean presidential candidate told the Wall Street Journal, "If that was a lie, then during Trump's term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says".

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