Pence: US won't rest until N. Korea gives up nuclear weapons

Trump China US working on'North Korea problem

Late Monday, Pence reiterated in a joint statement alongside South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn that "all options are on the table" and said any use of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang would be met with "an overwhelming and effective response".

"It is our belief by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure we have a chance of achieving a freeze on the Korean Peninsula", Pence said. But he told the sailors, "as all of you know, readiness is the key".

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", he said. He said his country "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S". Pence, arriving after a visit to South Korea, said the USA had demonstrated its resolve with recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, and that "all options are on the table" but 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".

Nevertheless, the US reportedly directed two additional aircraft carrier groups toward the Korean Peninsula this week. He did not comment on what might have caused the missile to fail. -North Korea relations, listen to the full interview on Radio Times.

For the latest talks, South Korea sent Deputy Minister for Policy Wee Seung-ho, while the USA sent Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey.

Behind the heated rhetoric, Trump's strategy in the region looks somewhat similar to predecessor Barack Obama's - albeit with the added unpredictability of a new president who has shown he's willing to use force.

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Pence is on a 10-day Asia trip that will also take him to Indonesia and Australia.

Earlier Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the country expressed grave concern about the North's nuclear missile development, saying China opposes any words or actions that aggravate the situation.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking to reporters Monday evening, said he hoped there would be "no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

"We will not rest and will not relent until we obtain the objective of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula", he said.

South Korea, the USA and Japan held their 9th Defense Trilateral Talks in Tokyo on Wednesday. and subsequently released a joint statement highlighting that the three countries will work closely together to find an effective way to denuclearize North Korea.

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