Mike Pence says era of strategic patience with North Korea is over
The vice president of the United States on Monday visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas at a moment of heightened tension with Pyongyang amid repeated weapons tests.
Mike Pence has warned that the “era of strategic patience is over” with North Korea and urged China to use its “extraordinary levers” to pressure the regime into abandoning its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
Speaking to the press during a visit to the military border separating North and South Korea on Monday, the vice-president described Washington’s commitment to South Korea’s security as “unshakeable”, a day after North Korea conducted a failed missile launch.
Besides Sunday's launch, North Korea has held a series of large-scale events in the past week including a massive celebration and military parade on Saturday.
Pence arrived in South Korea amid claims that Sunday’s missile test might have been thwarted by a cyber attack by the US, and warnings from Donald Trump’s chief security adviser that tensions on the Korean peninsula were “coming to a head”.
Mr Pence, whose father served in the Korean War, said the US wants to achieve security on the peninsula "through peaceable means, through negotiations", he said, "but all options are on the table".
“My father served in the Korean war with the US army, and on the way here we actually saw some of the terrain my father fought alongside Korean forces to help earn your freedom,” he said in an address at Camp Bonifas. “We are grateful to all of those who each and every day stand in the gap for freedom here at the DMZ. It is a testament to the unshakeable bond between our people.”
China, historically Pyongyang's sole major ally, has reiterated its call for North Korea to stop all tests, and has also called for a peaceful solution, as reported in the BBC.
US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that Beijing was "working with us on the North Korean problem".