Pence: ‘All Options’ Considered for Dealing With North Korea
By Steve Herman April 18, 2017
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday the international community should be applying diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to get that country to abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Speaking during a visit to Japan, Pence said the U.S. “will not relent” until it achieves the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula, and that “all options are on the table.” He cited past international efforts to negotiate with North Korea on its nuclear program, including the most recent six-party talks that broke down in 2009, saying the North Korean side has repeatedly responded with “broken promises and more provocations.”
Pence again stated that “the era of strategic patience is over,” advocating as the best way forward dialogue among the U.S., Japan, South Korea and China in order to isolate and pressure North Korea. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who hosted Pence for talks in Tokyo, said he appreciates the Trump administration’s “all options” approach. Abe added that he hopes for peaceful dialogue with North Korea, but that “dialogue for the sake of dialogue” has no value. The comments came a day after North Korea tried and failed to launch a missile from its submarine base at Sinpo.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called the failed missile launch a reckless provocation. “The leader in North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile,” Mattis told reporters Tuesday aboard a U.S. military aircraft while en route to Saudi Arabia. Back in Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated tolerance for a bit more patience on the U.S. side during a briefing with reporters Monday. “I think that we’re going to continue to work with China in particular to help find a way forward,” Spicer said.
The press secretary characterized “the era of strategic patience” as an Obama administration policy of “basically wait and see” that is not prudent for the United States. But, he added, as a result of the recent talks between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the current administration is giving Beijing time to use its economic and political influence on Pyongyang. The vice president, speaking to reporters Monday near the Korean Demilitarized Zone, said “President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change. We want 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.”
At a hastily called news conference Monday in New York, North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, accused the United States of pushing the Korean peninsula “to the brink of a war,” warning that a “thermo-nuclear war may break out at any moment on the peninsula.” Referring to the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its strike group to waters off the Korean peninsula, Kim said if Washington “dares opt for a military action,” calling it a preemptive strike, “the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.” globalsecurity – CLICK HERE TO READ ON>>>>>