Pence calls U.S. commitment to South Korea 'iron-clad'

18 April, 2017, 02:49 | Author: Essie Rivera

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", the BBC quoted Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol as saying in an interview.

The Vice President said that he and the President hope to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula "through peaceable means" with the cooperation of China, South Korea, Japan, and other allies in the region.

Earlier, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the US, stating that his country's "era of strategic patience" with North Korea was over. Viewing his adversaries in the distance, Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the USA and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

Wit, who has recently met with North Korean officials, adds: "I think we should not underestimate North Korea's resolve to resist pressure from the United States".

The North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target US troops in Asia and, eventually, the USA mainland. His visit came a day after North Korea held a military parade in its capital, Pyongyang, marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of founding father Kim Il Sung.

President Trump has called on China for help in dealing with North Korea, and the administration has insisted the two world powers are working together to quell what the president has called "the North Korea problem".

A U.S. Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month with Tomahawk missiles raised questions about Trump's plans for reclusive North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the United States.

During a press conference with South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, Pence also reassured South Korea that Washington's security commitment to its Asian ally is "ironclad and immutable". Washington has been concerned by North Korea's nuclear tests, which Pyongyang believes act as deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.

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He arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after North Korea carried out a failed missile launch.

In New York, the North's deputy United Nations ambassador, Kim In Ryong, said that U.S.

The fact that South Korea hasn't even had a president since Trump took office - the previous one, Park Geun-hye, was busy getting impeached, and the next one won't be elected until May 9 - hasn't helped.

In-Ryong also cited USA military training drills with South Korean troops as "aggressive war exercises" promoting "real warfare".

The left-wing Democratic United Party has been critical of the deployment of THAAD and called for more engagement with North Korea to prevent further nuclearization. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated USA response trailed Pence as he began a 10-day trip to Asia.

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

North Korea's deputy representative to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, accused Washington of creating "a situation where nuclear war could break out an any time" and said Pyongyang's next nuclear test would take place "at a time and at a place where our headquarters deems necessary". The report resulted in rising fears not only in South Korea but among North Korea experts in the US.

This is Pence's first visit to South Korea - part of an Asia swing that will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia - and although it was conceived months ago, could hardly come at a time of higher tension.

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