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.
Pence said the U.S. would press ahead with the Thaad deployment and added: "The better path would be for China to address the North Korean threat that is actually making such defensive measures necessary".
On April 14, US media said that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea in the event Pyongyang chose to carry out another nuclear weapon test.
"But the era of strategic patience is over", he declared.
Suga, the Japanese government spokesman, said Japan hopes to discuss policies on North Korea with Pence and to convey a growing sense of urgency over its missile tests and other actions.
There has been some confusion over the whereabouts of a US aircraft carrier group after Trump said last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea even as the ships were still far from Korean waters.
The vice president met Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and reassured them of the United States commitment in the face of possible threats posed by North Korea. But he stressed: "Dialogue for dialogue's sake is meaningless".
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"President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region, and with China, to achieve a peaceable solution and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Pence said.
"North Korea openly states that its ballistic missiles are meant to deliver nuclear weapons to strike cities in the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan", Ross said. -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ.
A day after North Korea said it would regularly test missiles, the United States military is considering shooting down the missile tests to pressure the country into denuclearisation.
Pence's visit came amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula. Continued reckless behavior by Pyongyang could force China and the U.S.to impose further sanctions, the editorial noted, such as by halting petroleum supplies or an American freeze on financial activities.
Trump has long said North Korea is China's problem to fix, urging Beijing to use its leverage as the main provider of food and energy for the impoverished North to bring the recalcitrant regime under control.
USA officials say new 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.
Hwang and Pence on Monday reaffirmed their plans to go ahead with the THAAD, but the decision will be up to the next Korean president. "You read Clinton's book and he said, 'Oh, we made such a great peace deal, ' and it was a joke", Trump said in an interview on Fox & Friends that aired Tuesday.