North Korean Nuclear Showdown

US VP Pence says to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

Firstly, every rational analyst familiar with North Korea and its complex relationship with China knows that you can't just demand the country dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

"The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", he said, as quoted by AP.

Mr Mattis condemned the attempted missile launch as he began a Middle East tour, telling reporters travelling with him to Saudi Arabia: "The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile".

On both the North Korean and U.S. sides of the conflict, all talk of military action can likely be dismissed as bluster.

The statement, which was tabled by the United States, would also tell North Korea not to conduct further nuclear tests.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, waves as he delivers remarks on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, April 19, 2017.

The Trump administration has signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions, dispatching Pence to the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea on Monday in a show of American resolve.

"We are looking at a country that is going really fast toward a deliverable nuclear weapon and potentially a deliverable nuclear weapon on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach a USA city".

Senior Pentagon officials considering the shoot-down option are said to have conceded they were unsure how North Korea would respond.

The BBC's Stephen McDonell in Beijing says the Chinese government appears to be becoming increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its traditional ally.

And in Washington, top officials now express hope that North Korea's great power neighbor China will apply the necessary political and economic pressure to halt its nuclear tests. The spokesman also said China remains firmly committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

"I have noted the recent report", Mr Lu said, referring to the BBC interview.

"As we approach the 100-day mark, the American people are going to be able to look back and see the presidency of Donald Trump and the determination and put in practice all the things that we can", he said.

"It's a clear fact acknowledged by the worldwide community that, for thousands of years in history, Korea has never been part of China", foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a briefing in Seoul on Thursday.

While the Trump's threats against North Korea are making Fox News giddy with the prospect of another Big American War, the real world ramifications are decidedly less glamorous.

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