Pence Admits Syria, Afghanistan Were Used as Props to Warn North Korea

Posted April 28, 2017

The North Korean government began building up its military and nuclear defense program starting in the 1990s, with then-leader Kim Jong Il's promoting a "military first" strategy. Trump said. "We'll see what he can do".

Yet Abe and Pence affirming the foundation for a peaceful solution represents a shift in tone for the US following the nation's recent airstrike on Syria, use of a massive ordnance air blast bomb in Afghanistan and orders to send the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula. Trump said in an interview with Fox News. I think you're not going to see him telegraphing how he's going to respond to any military or other situation going forward'. The North conducted two nuclear test explosions and 24 ballistic missile tests in 2016, and experts predict it could have a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland within a few years.

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the USA reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

On Monday, Pence traveled to the tense Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the US and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over". "If they are used by North Korea for military goal, they must have been modified by the North Korean side", said the sales manager, who would give only his surname, Wang.

Mr Pence also insisted that the long standing USA commitment to South Korea against the North was "iron clad".

In addition to approving a missile airstrike on a Syrian air base April 7 and dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan on April 13, Trump sent a fleet of navy ships toward the Korean Peninsula April 8, complete with an aircraft carrier, two destroyers and a cruiser.

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"Strategic patience signaled indecision and predictability - not a good combination in Trump's eyes", Cha said.

At the outset of his meeting with Abe, Pence said that "While all options are on the table", Trump was determined to work with Japan, South Korea and other allies in the region to resolve the problem.

"The members of the Security Council stressed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's illegal ballistic-missile activities are contributing to its development of nuclear-weapons delivery systems and are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond", the statement said.

"In the past, U.S. -Japan economic relations have started from friction, but we're entering a new area where we start from cooperation", he told the news conference.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday that Australia supported its allies, including the United States, in putting pressure on North Korea, but the heaviest obligation was on China.

The North has said such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.

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Earlier Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence said during a visit to Japan that what the U.S. and other countries are concerned about are the "reckless and irresponsible actions of the regime in Pyongyang".

"There is both greater unpredictability and decisiveness from President Trump", said Victor Cha, the director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University and a former adviser to President George W. Bush.

The White House maintains there is no evidence North Korea has those capabilities. Pyongyang is also threatening to conduct a nuclear test when and where its leadership decides.

Wang told reporters that although USA officials have made clear that a military strike remains a possibility, he believes that Washington would still prefer to de-escalate tensions through multi-sided talks.

"North Korea is the most unsafe and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", Pence said.

A sales manager for a Sinotruck dealer, Zhongnanhai, said the company exports about 1,000 trucks to North Korea every year under contracts that specify the vehicles are designed and manufactured for civilian use.

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Aso said the two countries had agreed to hold a second round of economic talks by the end of this year.