Pence Stares Down North Korean Troops

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Getty Images

Later Mr Pence vowed to "defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday that Washington would work with its allies and China to put economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to end its development of nuclear weapons.

US Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea on Monday that recent US strikes in Syria, one of Pyongyang's few close allies, and Afghanistan showed that the resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested.

Pence also reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that United States strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve. "We are fully prepared to handle it", Han said.

Mr Pence had flown in from South Korea where he had visited the demilitarized zone dividing it from North Korea.

He said that President Donald Trump's administration will continue to "work diligently" with other countries to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang, and that the United States "will always seek peace".

Pence's visit to the tense demilitarised zone dividing North and South Korea came at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia and underscored USA commitment to the region. "We are with you 100 percent", he said. "I think it is in everybody's interest to contain North Korea's actions".

Speaking to USA and Japanese troops on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier Wednesday, he called North Korea the most urgent and unsafe threat to the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region.

North Korea's Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, speaks during a news briefing on Monday, April 17, 2017, at U.N. headquarters.

While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated USA response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.

The North held a show of military might in a parade over the weekend and tested another missile on Sunday, which the Pentagon said blew up nearly immediately after launch.

The Trump administration has signalled a more forceful U.S. stance toward North Korea's recent missile tests and threats, including a warning from Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave".

Ministry official Kim Chang Min also said in the interview in Pyongyang that the United Nations, the Security Council and big countries ignored South Korean missile launches and Japanese surveillance satellites. "This threatens nuclear proliferation in the region, but also directly threatens North America".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said tensions need to be eased on the Korean Peninsula to bring the escalating dispute there to a peaceful resolution.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow can not accept the DPRK's "reckless nuclear actions".

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