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Pence vows 'overwhelming' response to North Korea
16 May 2017, 07:03 | Cedric Leonard
Trump: China, US working on 'North Korea problem'
On April 17 North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC in Pyongyang, that despite worldwide condemnation and growing military tensions with the U.S., North Korea will "be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".
Donald Trump has said how much North Korea's leader desires peace will be a deciding factor in easing tensions between his nation and the United States.
Vice-President Mike Pence could not have known when he took off from Joint Base Andrews Saturday morning that by the time he landed here in South Korea, the North Korean regime would have fired off yet another missile, raising tensions on the peninsula to nearly unprecedented levels.
But, mindful that this would likely trigger massive retaliation and casualties in South Korea and Japan, US officials say the Trump administration's main focus is on tougher economic sanctions.
Meanwhile, US vice president Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the resolve of America's military, promising it would make an "overwhelming and effective" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.
North Korea attempted but failed to launch a ballistic missile on its east coast last Sunday, the latest sign of rising tensions in Asia.
Pence also said that the United States would work with its allies and China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on the North and increase its military presence in the region.
"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".
Pence on Monday had travelled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the USA and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, 'the era of strategic patience is over'. Instead, it should crack down on the foreign financial dealings of North Korean officials and companies and the foreign states that help them.
For his part, Abe called for a peaceful solution to the crisis with North Korea, as reported by AFP. "This is something President Trump is going to deal with in the first year".
Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea earlier, have signalled a forceful USA stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats.
During the U.S. presidential campaign, Trump harshly attacked Beijing as a currency manipulator and threatened to slap 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. Neither Pyongyang nor the USA have expressed an interest in talks.
Trump is clearly on the mind of the North Korean leadership.
South Koreans may be uneasy about North Korea's expanding arsenal of weapons, but many doubt that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, wants to start a war that would likely end in the destruction of his government and the ruling elite.
Americans "always have to be concerned" about the prospect of a thermonuclear war with North Korea, Donald Trump has said. The test was unsuccessful, with the device blowing up "almost immediately", according to USA military officials. North Korea is moving steadily toward that goal, and some experts believe it could achieve it during Trump's presidency. "Everybody has been outplayed, they've all been outplayed by this gentleman, and we'll see what happens".
Japan is drawing up emergency responses in case of a North Korea missile strike.
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