Pence aims to reassure allies amid North Korea threat

US Vice President Mike Pence heads to Seoul as North Korea tensions flare

While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated USA response is trailing Pence as he undertakes a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry has criticized comments by North Korea's vice foreign minister, who told The Associated Press that the North is capable of conducting another nuclear test at anytime and ready to "go to war" if the USA provokes it.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence said.

Amid increasing tension with North Korea, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to South Korea Saturday, on a scheduled trip as part of his first official visit to the Asia-Pacific region.

Wang told reporters Friday that all sides must stop provoking and threatening each other in their words and actions and take a flexible approach to resuming dialogue.

"We have a new president and Kim Jong-un is trying to challenge him, is trying to get him back to the negotiating table", Mike Morell told CBS News on Friday.

A senior Russian lawmaker says the U.S.is a greater threat to global peace than North Korea. He has repeatedly declared that if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the USA might take the matter into its own hands.

The Seoul stop kicks off a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia which is his first as vice president, and comes amid concerns that Pyongyang could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test. President Trump has warned against further provocations, sending an aircraft carrier group to the region as a show of force.

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The trip comes at a critical moment for the Trump administration and USA allies, after escalated posturing from North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and growing concerns that the country may mark its most important holiday on Saturday with its sixth nuclear test.

"The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo", said Benham.

Han said: "We are comparing Trump's policy toward the DPRK with the former administrations and we have concluded that it's becoming more vicious and more aggressive".

On Sunday he tweeted: "Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?"

He says another nuclear test would invite tougher measures from Beijing, possibly including new restrictions on Chinese companies' investments in North Korea and cuts in the number of Chinese tourists allowed to visit. The joint U.S. -South Korean military camp is just outside the 2.5-mile-wide DMZ.

Earlier this week, the USA dispatched ships, including an aircraft carrier, to waters off the Korean Peninsula, drawing condemnation from Pyongyang that is already indignant about annual U.S. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.

Other military hardware at the parade included tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery guns, as well as a solid-fuel missile created to be fired from submarines. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

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