Pence visiting military camp near Korean DMZ

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 18, 2017

The U.S. Navy sent a strike group to Korean waters last week, but defense officials have said tougher sanctions and pressure was still the favored approach to dealing with North Korea.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement that Sunday's missile exploded on launch.

"The missile blew up nearly immediately". "This launch can possibly be a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade", Kim said.

North Korea has warned the USA not to take provocative action as it is "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks". But the birthday of the Stalinist state's founder passed without action that may have provoked a US response.

Instead, the bellicose rhetoric came from Choe Ryond-hae, a top aide to Kim and a senior official in the ruling Workers Party.

"We weren't surprised by it, we were anticipating it", the foreign policy adviser said.

The North has reiterated its constant refrain that it is ready for "war" with the United States, and its army vowed Friday a "merciless" response to any USA provocation.

The North has traditionally used milestone events for demonstrations of military might.

The attempted launch occurred a day after the regime of Kim Jong Un showed off a bevy of new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade on its most important holiday.

Earlier: US Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil over North Korea's threats to advance its growing nuclear and defence capabilities. North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty.

North Korea's vice foreign minister says the situation on the Korean Peninsula is now in a "vicious cycle".

The North launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month ahead of a summit meeting between the leaders of the United States and China, its key ally, to discuss the North's increasingly defiant arms programme.

Pence told reporters near the DMZ that President Donald Trump was hopeful that China would use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure the North to abandon its weapons program, a day after the North's failed missile launch.

He said US President Donald Trump has made clear he won't talk about specific military tactics.

Leading publications in South Korea suggested that the new Trump administration was unnecessarily building up tensions in the region.

"My father served in the Korean War with the U.S. Army, and on the way here, we actually saw some of the terrain my father fought alongside Korean forces to help earn your freedom", Pence said. Stoking fears of an imminent attack is highly irresponsible.

Vice President Mike Pence is warning in a visit to the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea that the North Korean people and military "should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies".

After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", USA officials said Friday. Still, even without mastering ICBM technology - which will mean North Korea can reach Europe and mainland U.S. from its own territory - just the medium range missiles, and North Korea's apparent success in mounting them on submarines, has begun to spook Washington. A large-scale military parade is expected. One was the KN-08, believed to be the North's first attempt at developing an ICBM.

A series of what appeared to be KN-08 missiles were among the weapons rolled out on trucks. "They can stop this if they want to due to their control over the North Korean economy".

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