Pence: North Korea 'provocation' shows the risk to military

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 18, 2017

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea on Sunday to begin a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threats to advance its nuclear and defense capabilities, and just after a failed missile launch by the North.

Despite North Korea's provocations, US officials have said that the USA doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

Pence sought to explain the policy in meetings with South Korea Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn and other top officials in Seoul at the start of the trip, which will also include stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

The US has leaned on China - North Korea's main ally - to apply pressure on Pyongyang to curtail its nuclear ambitions.

The US Vice-President will leave for Japan on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 11: Trump tweeted: "North Korea is looking for trouble".

North Korea rolled out a collection of new missiles over the weekend, including several intercontinental ballistic missile models.

There is growing speculation in the mainstream media and BlogosFear that the Trump regime following blasting of an mostly empty Syrian air-field with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles and then dropping a MOAB on caves in Afghanistan is next set to launch a pre-emptive first strike against the North Korean rouge state's nuclear and missile infrastructure before it manages to achieve its objective of being able to put nukes onto missiles.

The United States, its allies and China are working on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed ballistic missile test, Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday, citing what he called an global consensus to act. The US will not make any important decision without consulting its allies, they say.

China and Russian Federation have dispatched spy vessels to shadow a fleet of USA aircraft carriers heading to North Korean waters.

"We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves", Kim said.

"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world", Pence said.

Perry told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in November that "North Korea, while they're evil, are not crazy" and that it would not seek to carry out a nuclear first strike on South Korea, Japan, or any USA forces stationed there.

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up in recent weeks, amid tit-for-tat sabre-rattling from the U.S. and North Korea and analysts' warnings that North Korea was preparing for a sixth nuclear test, CNN reported.

Pence's remarks come amid heightened tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula.

"China may marginally increase economic pressure on North Korea by cutting down trade, tourist flows or food aid, but its primary goal is to placate Washington", said Yanmei Xie, a politics and foreign policy expert at Gavekal Dragonomics. He later said China is "working with us on the North Korean problem". "We will see what happens!"

But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the North to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

"It has been created unsafe situation in which the thermonuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula and pose a serious threat to the world's peace and security, to say nothing of those of northeast Asia".

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. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

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