Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

North Korea threatens 'weekly' tests as Pence arrives in Japan

North Korea threatens 'weekly' tests as Pence arrives in Japan

"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and beat any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response", Pence told 2,500 sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the US Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. Pence reassured that all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea and the USA will counter any military action by Pyongyang with an overwhelming 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.

In the event of a contingency on the Korean Peninsula, the Self-Defense Forces are expected to provide logistical support to the USA military.

Pence reiterated that after years of North Korea testing the US and its neighbours in East Asia with its nuclear ambitions, the USA "era of strategic patience is over".

The North's Foreign Ministry said the missile launches were part of a normal process of building up the country's defences and economy.

"If the United States is reckless enough to use military means it would mean from that very day, an all out war". In early March, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on USA bases in the country. He did not comment on what might have caused the missile to fail.

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence matter, said the missile was a Scud variant that the US calls a KN-17.

Mr Trump blamed previous presidential administrations for creating the situation with North Korea.

Pence and Abe agreed that they needed to persuade China to play a larger role in dealing with North Korea, a Japanese government spokesman said.

In February, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on United States bases in the country.

The U.S. Vice President reiterated that the "era of strategic patience is over".

A ranking USA senator said the United States should launch a preemptive strike on North Korea if that's what it takes to stop Pyongyang from building a missile capable of hitting America, even though such military action would mean war. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. The reports came after Trump said that the North Korean nuclear issue would be "taken care of", while at the same time calling on China to pressure its neighbor into giving up its nuclear program.

He added that the USA wants to see "North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Moscow can not accept the DPRK's "reckless nuclear actions".

Their hope is that the White House will focus on pressuring China, Pyongyang's only major ally and biggest trade partner, to redouble its efforts to rein in the regime and prompt North Korea to return to the negotiating table after it abandoned the six-party talks in 2009. I think you're not going to see him telegraphing how he's going to respond to any military or other situation going forward'.

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