US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his country's commitment to the security of Japan on Tuesday, as North Korea vowed to launch missile tests "every week".
Pence made an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia in a U.S. show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no interest in the Korean peninsula and its peoples; its sole rationale for maintaining the ongoing conflict with North Korea is to justify maintaining the extensive military bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese.
Pence struck a stern tone as he began talks with Abe and other Japanese leaders after arriving at a USA naval base from South Korea. It allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.
The Trump administration plans to "reform" the existing deal to level the playing field, he told the room of executives, most of whom represented USA companies doing business in South Korea.
Ms Bishop said that under Barack Obama's presidency, "strategic patience" had led to a stalemate, during which time "North Korea's illegal missile and nuclear program accelerated". "The era of strategic patience is over", Mr Pence said.
"But as the president has made very clear, either China will deal with this problem or the United States and our allies will", he said.
Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim said North Korea's policy is shaped by the Trump administration's push for "high-intensity sanctions" against the country, deploying tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and launching military action aimed at "beheading" the North's leadership headed by Kim Jong Un.
Pyongyang has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, and has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the US mainland.
Kim In Ryong told a news conference that "if the us dares opt for a military action", North Korea "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S". China has turned away coal shipments and made more forceful statements in recent weeks in an attempt to cool the ratcheting of tensions in the region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing the situation on the Korean peninsula was "highly sensitive, complicated and high risk". Lu said Beijing wants to resume the multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009 and suggested that US plans to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China.
Over the last few days, various news agencies have noted how Trump has offered glowing remarks about the Chinese president ever since he visited the Commander in Chief at Mar-a-Lago. -South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ.
Arriving in Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Pence hailed the two countries' longstanding security ties. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".
But in her strongest language yet on China's role, Ms Bishop said that it could "no longer shirk responsibility" on North Korea, saying the days when this was an issue primarily to be resolved between the U.S. and North Korea were over.
United States battleships were moved into the waters near the Korean peninsula as a precaution. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated US response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.
However, Trump has also shown willingness to link trade to other issues, saying he would cut a better trade deal with China if it exerts influence on North Korea. "I'm going to hit him with currency manipulation", Trump asked.
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The administration's immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on North Korea with the help of China. North Korea is thought to have a small arsenal of atomic bombs and an impressive array of short- and medium-range missiles.