Pence to Pyongyang: Don't Test Trump

Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday as tensions over the situation on the Korean Peninsula softened somewhat following U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's departure from South Korea for Japan and an expected turn to trade issues.

He reiterated U.S. support for South Korea, telling his host: "We are with you 100 percent". "An abandonment of its nuclear weapons programme and its ballistic missile programme".

Vice President Pence said on a visit to South Korea on Monday that the US "era of strategic patience is over" regarding North Korea and its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

He also said "the era of strategic patience is over" and expressed hopes that China would "do more" to help solve the problem.

Trump made the comments to a reporter while hosting the annual White House Easter egg hunt Monday.

Pyongyang again said it has sent letters demanding its own hearing at the Security Council for alleged U.S. abuses, but they have been ignored by a council which has seen numerous council resolutions violated by North Korean missile and nuclear tests.

Trump himself appeared to reinforce the stern US message at the White House, replying "Gotta behave" when a CNN reporter asked what message he had for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country", he told reporters as tinny propaganda music floated across from the North Korean side of the so-called demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Pence said on Monday the world had witnessed US President Donald Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, which saw a US missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner nodded toward Turkey's apparent slide toward authoritarianism on Monday, saying the U.S. expects Turkey's government "to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all its citizens" and supports "Turkey's democratic development, to which commitment to the rule of law and a diverse and free media remain essential". -South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill".

In Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a "diplomatic effort is important to maintain peace" on the Korean Peninsula. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

While China is North Korea's biggest economic lifeline, relations have been frosty and Beijing has a few times expressed frustration with Pyongyang. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated US response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.

In Perry's view, North Korea is more like jihadists - fanatical ideologues who are still thinking somewhat strategically.

Perry said that while the situation with North Korea was "unfortunate", he would not support a strike on North Korea since the Hermit Kingdom has a secretive, spread-out nuclear arsenal that the United States couldn't hope to knock out before it got a shot off.

In February, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on United States bases in the country.

The country's deputy United Nations ambassador also said the Trump administration's deployment of a nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean peninsula again "proves the US reckless moves for invading (North Korea) have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

"If the United States dares opt for a military action (...) the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans", Kim told a news conference.

After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence talks with members of the American Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

"North Korea will eventually have missiles pointed at USA bases, in Japan or elsewhere", Fleitz said. The test failed when the missile exploded shortly after launch.

The visit comes after a huge military parade during which North Korea showcased apparent intercontinental ballistic missiles, and as a United States carrier group converges on the Korean peninsula, ratcheting up tensions to their highest point in years.

The Trump administration wants to attract more foreign direct investment, hoping to attract some with a $1 trillion plan to rebuild US roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

"We're going to abandon the failed policy of strategic patience".

But, with a strike group of USA forces already posted to the Korean Peninsula, Mr Trump added further fuel to the fire, saying he had been forced to beef up his military.

"That's something that we've never seen tested". Trump tweeted last week.

The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders at the joint U.S.

NORTH KOREA: Pyongyang's focus on developing missiles and nuclear weapons, including its latest failed missile launch, remain on investors' minds though concerns are starting to ease.

South Korea is set to elect a new president next month.

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