Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

'The sword stands ready': Mike Pence warns North Korea


The North has made progress towards its goal of developing a missile capable of delivering a warhead to the USA mainland, and speculation has mounted that it could conduct another nuclear test.

The statement was made amid an escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula with the South Korea and United States military reporting April 16 that they had witnessed what they believe to be a failed missile test by Pyongyang which followed a number of missile launches and nuclear tests considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution. The tests are taking place over the Pacific because that's where the test ranges are large enough to accommodate them.

The upgraded missile has only been tested once before. The new version has an improved booster and warhead.

America's posture toward North Korea has changed, Trump administration officials insist.

The program has been in development with Japan and is aimed at shooting down intermediate-range North Korean missiles that pose a threat to the USA ally.

Lu Chao, director of the China's Border Studies Institute at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the latest test, despite its failure, could be another defiant message from Pyongyang that it will not change its tough stance in the face of U.S. pressure even though the failure showed that Pyongyang's missile technology was flawed.

Previously based in Beijing, he has been blacklisted by the USA and mentioned in UN Security Council reports for his involvement in weapons trading, including the sale of missile parts and technology. "They haven't successfully tested any sort of missile that can reach us".

It is still not clear what type of missile malfunctioned, but it exploded within seconds of being launched from a test site on the northeastern coast of the Korean peninsula.

Trump has told leader Kim Jong-Un that he's "gotta behave" while U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that "all options are on the table", prompting dire threats of retaliation.

While laying waste to cities in video simulations is nothing new for North Korea, its armament is plenty real. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of North Korea to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, on a visit to London, has said that the military option must be a part of the pressure brought to bear.

Vice President Mike Pence said we are going to "abandon the failed policy of strategic patience" when it comes to North Korea.

The review also is aimed at ensuring necessary military assets are properly situated if there is a need for military action. Multiple US officials said all current anti-missile ships and other ground-based interceptors in Alaska are available.

Defence Secretary James Mattis has briefed the Congress on the option, but the military has not yet chose to intercept a test missile.

The world can afford a sigh of relief after news that North Korea's latest attempt to launch a long-range missile has once again led to embarrassing failure.

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

Reports emerged Tuesday that the U.S.is considering shooting down future North Korean missile tests as a show of strength against Pyongyang.

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