North Korea put on a musical show to mark the birthday of founding father Kim Il Sung, which ended with a mock-up video of missiles engulfing the United States in flames, prompting cheers from the audience and smiles from current leader Kim Jong Un.
"We are evaluating all of those options", he said. After North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006, multinational disarmament talks produced further concessions in return for closing nuclear facilities.
From two continents, Pence and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the US was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Experts point out that China also wants to prevent North Korea from becoming a full-fledged nuclear power - and certainly wants to prevent a war on its southern border that could send millions of refugees flooding into China and potentially risk bringing a United States military presence to China's borders. Russian Federation dismisses as false a Reuters report that said a government think tank controlled by President Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 USA presidential election in Trump's favor. U.S. Last week, it used its veto power to block an attempt to condemn the killing of dozens of people in a suspected Syrian chemical attack. China is North Korea's closest ally.
Next week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will chair a minister-level meeting on the North Korean issue at the UN.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign". "And we'll see what happens". With South Korea and the United States unprepared to militarily confront the potentially nuclear-armed north, the most realistic option may be to tighten economic sanctions or hope for the downfall of the Kim dynasty, whether through Kim Jong-un's ill health or political infighting. We've said it as clearly as we can possibly say it. North Korea, which is thought to have six to 20 warheads, describes its weapons as a "precious sword of justice" against invaders and points out the demise of Iraqi and Libyan regimes after they gave up on nuclear arms.