The United States will not be negotiating directly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un anytime soon, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN in an exclusive interview.
US Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese leaders began talks on Tuesday expected to focus largely on trade with America's anchor ally in the region, though tensions with North Korea loomed large.
There has been some confusion over the whereabouts of a USA aircraft carrier group after Trump said last week that he had sent an "armada" as a warning to North Korea even as the ships were still far from Korean waters.
North Korea did test a missile on Sunday, but by US and South Korean accounts it failed "within seconds".
Pence, dressed in a green military jacket, said aboard the hulking USS Ronald Reagan that President Donald Trump's administration would continue to "work diligently" with allies like Japan, China and other global powers to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang.
"It is our belief that by bringing together the family of nations with diplomatic and economic pressure, we have a chance - we have a chance - to achieve our objective of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", he said.
"When we requested to restore the agreed language that was of political importance and expressed commitment to continue to work on the draft. the USA delegation without providing any explanations cancelled the work on the draft", the Russian U.N. mission said in a statement. Photo Credit: Franck Robichon/AFP via Getty Images "We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan, but as you know and the United States knows, peace comes through strength and we will stand strongly with Japan and strongly with our allies for a peace and security in this region", Pence added.More news: Gronkowski pops into White House briefing
Addressing some 25-hundred sailors on board the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo bay, Pence noted the Trump administration will work with allies like Japan and China, . but highlighted readiness is the key.
Mattis did not identify the type of missile but said it was not of intercontinental range, meaning it could not reach USA territory.
Steven Weber, an expert on North Korea and political science professor at the University of California-Berkeley, said Trump's unpredictability likely stems from the fact that his administration does not yet have a clear strategic vision for North Korea.
Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a press briefing that Beijing was firmly opposed to any words or actions that could further provoke tensions.
The Guardian report said Defense Secretary James Mattis has already briefed Congress on the possibility, but the Pentagon has not yet decided whether to go ahead with the option.
The Russian diplomat also took a hard line on the previous USA administration's North Korea policies.