Pence's New Warning to North Korea: 'The Sword Stands Ready'

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Pence does not think negotiations with North Korea have been handled appropriately over the last few decades, and the Trump administration seems set on having other nations diplomatically pressure the nation into compliance.

The vice president's comments come after he spoke to USA and Japanese troops on board the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier earlier in the day.

"The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", he added.

"And those who challenge our resolve for our readiness should know we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

The American vice president is on a 10-day trip to Asia that has been dominated by the North Korea issue.

From two continents, Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the USA was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

"We have said it as clearly as we can possibly say it. As President Trump has made clear to the world the era of strategic patience is over".

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The North's propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri slammed Pence for what it called babbling about sanctions and pressure.

He called North Korea the most urgent and unsafe threat to the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region. "We believe that through discussions and negotiations among nations apart from North Korea that we may well be able to bring the kind of economic and diplomatic pressure that would result in North Korea finally abandoning its nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile program".

"China is committed to denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability there, and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation".

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, it has escalated a war of words, warning of full-out nuclear war if Washington takes military action against it.

Speaking Wednesday, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry said North Korea's recent tests and their threat to carry out more missile launches was causing "serious concern" in Beijing.

Pence cited China's decision to return coal imports from North Korea as an example showing US strategy is bearing fruit.

"We fully support the efforts of all states in order to make sure that North Korea does not acquire the capacities that would become a threat not only to the region but in a wider area of the world", he told reporters.

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