Trump warns North Korea: 'Gotta behave'
- Alejandro Massey
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, is briefed by U.S. Gen. Vincent Brooks, right, commander of the United Nations Command, U.S. Forces Korea and Combined Forces Command from Observation Post Ouellette in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), near the border village of Panmunjom, South Korea, Monday, April 17, 2017.
With North Korean soldiers standing less than 100 feet behind him at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN that Pyongyang should understand that the Trump administration's approach toward the regime will be different than that of past U.S. presidents.
"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world", said Pence.
The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the USA mainland, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering the necessary technology, including miniaturising a nuclear warhead.
Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, indicated on Sunday that Trump was not considering military action against North Korea for now, even as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike group was heading for the region.
Although U.S. allies Japan and South Korea are heartened by Trump's North Korea focus, his softer tack toward Beijing is causing concern.
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With military and intelligence officials warning that time is running out to prevent North Korea from developing missiles that could carry nuclear weapons to the USA, the Trump Administration has been quiet on what its strategy is.
He said U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear he won't talk about specific military tactics.
Pence said during a Monday visit to South Korea that the North needs to abandon its weapons program and stop testing ballistic missiles.
The vice president began his three-day visit to South Korea - the first leg of his four-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific region - on Sunday afternoon, hours after the reclusive state's botched attempt to launch yet another ballistic missile.
Measuring 150 miles long, it became the de facto border that separates North and South Korea following the end of the Korean War in 1953.
After a two-month policy review, officials settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday.
South Korea strongly condemned the test and said that the launch is a threat to the whole world.
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Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington have soared in recent weeks, as a series of North Korean missile tests have prompted ever-more bellicose warnings from Trump's administration.
And earlier this month, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Shayrat airbase in Syria purportedly in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 90 people two days earlier.
This photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16, 2017 shows North Korea's ballistic missiles being displayed through Kim Il-Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang.
The U.S. Army said that the missile exploded nearly immediately after it was launched.
Pence added that "all options are on the table" for dealing with North Korea and called on China "to do more" to push back against aggressive behavior coming out of Pyongyang. He says any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea will be met with "an overwhelming and effective response". "It doesn't make any difference if it does or not - North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of", he told reporters.
After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday.
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They are also causing demographic changes because those who are displaced are usually Sunni Muslims, like most of the opposition. Ahmed Afandar, a resident evacuated from his home near Madaya, said: "The people are restless and the situation is disastrous".
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