Pence vows 'overwhelming' response to North Korea

"The era of strategic patience is over and while all options are on the table, President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region and with China to achieve a peaceable resolution and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", Pence said.

That should come as no surprise.

Ahead of the "Day of the Sun" on April 15, one of the biggest celebrations in the North Korean calendar, North Korea analysts said satellite images showed Pyongyang was "primed and ready" for a sixth nuclear test.

Earlier at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had confided, "I explained. that a trade deal with the US will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!"

Mattis credited China with trying to help get the North Korea situation "under control" with the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

On Monday, the BBC's John Sudworth was granted a face to face interview in Pyongyang with the country's vice-foreign minister during which he stated, "According to our own schedule we'll be conducting more tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

"Currently, South Korea has no president and its voice in the crucial security issue on the Korean peninsula has simply not been heard", said Hong Hyun-Ik, senior researcher at the private Sejong Institute.

Western observers pay very keen attention to this global display of North Korea's arsenal ever since they announced in 2013, their intentions to develop a war plan capable of nuclear strikes on major American cities.

Despite United Nations-imposed bans on military equipment exports, North Korea has earned and is still earning substantial revenue from the sale of missile components and related technology overseas.

Trump's boast to a TV host that he had informed President Xi of his Tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian airbase as they shared chocolate cake was surreal theatre at its most grotesque. The Chinese are intensely nervous and irritated by the behaviour of the formerly useful buffer state that is now a source of potential nuclear conflict and waves of refugees.

Both oppose any first strike by the US.

More to the point, the skepticism displayed in the earlier reports failed to take into account the broader picture of the ways in which the Trump administration has been putting steady pressure on North Korea and on China to resolve current tensions through renewed diplomatic talks.

Prior to being elected, Trump pledged to hire "the best people". As far as Trump is concerned, multilateralism is for the birds.

That kind of rhetoric has unnerved allies in Japan and South Korea.

Trump basically taunted North Korea with an ill-advised tweet where he accused the country of "looking for trouble".

They also echo those of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who told reporters that Washington was eager to increase trade ties with Tokyo through a two-way pact.

The US government, which at the time was restoring relations with Myanmar's new quasi-civilian government in Naypyidaw, added diplomatically that there was no evidence to suggest that this was official Myanmar policy. "This is the fake media that just does a number", he told Fox News.



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