Pence visits Japan, turning focus to trade with key ally

Posted April 19, 2017

The president, administration officials and certain congressional leaders have continued to encourage China to pressure Pyongyang to abandon its aggressive pursuit of long-range missiles and high-yield nuclear weapons. 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.

"If the planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Han said.

How did we get here?

Defying global pressure, the North test-fired another missile on Sunday as fears grow that it may also be preparing for its sixth nuclear weapons test.

Its aim is to be able to put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach targets around the world, including the US. "We will see what happens!"

The North fears the US and South Korea could use force in an attempt to overthrow the regime of Kim Jong-un. It test-fired a missile on Sunday that exploded within seconds of launch, following a grand military parade on Saturday.

During a Fox News interview, the president didn't appear to know who the name of the leader of North Korea.

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.

Pence said on Monday the world had seen Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, with a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan. South Korea hosts 28,500 USA troops to counter the threat from the North.

"We know the situation is tense", Wang said.

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The THAAD system is capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.

"But at the same time", the prime minister said, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue". "But the fact is that they have the overwhelming leverage over the North Korea regime", Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters Tuesday in Canberra, Australia's capital.

The message was delivered in Seoul, South Korea, after the vice president went to the military demarcation that separates the two Koreas and said that after years of Pyongyang testing the US and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

Han reiterated North Korea's position that it would react with a "nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method" should the US plan a military attack on the country.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials expressed hope that China is finally playing a more active role in pressuring the North.

North Korea is threatening thermonuclear war with the United States again, this time in the whole new era of the Trump administration which has just declared the "era of strategic patience is over" with the rogue Asian nation and, direct from the President, it has "gotta behave".

The vice president reiterated Monday that "all options are on the table" to deal with the threat posed by North Korea.

"China is not the culprit of the issue nor does it hold the crux and the key to resolving it", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi argued Monday, emphasizing that the us will decide whether or not there is peace on the peninsula.

Hwang said the two countries "agreed to further increase the preparedness of the alliance against North Korea's threats by deploying and operating the THAAD battery as early as possible".

Pence's comments at the news conference elicited concern from Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.