North Korea: Nuclear War With US May Be Near

Posted April 20, 2017

Pence made an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia in a USA show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

Mr Pence made the statement after talks in Tokyo with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "This is the first option although there are other options on the table", Wang added.

The Trump administration hasn't ruled out a military strike against North Korea.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China opposed words or actions that could further raise tension.

Pence on Monday had traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the US and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

In Japan, they said Pence's two main goals are to spur increased USA access to Japanese markets and strengthen Japanese foreign investment.

Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea and the US.

Pence struck a stern tone as he began talks with Abe and other Japanese leaders after arriving at a US naval base from South Korea. "Today we are beginning a process of economic dialogue, the end of which may result in bilateral trade negotiations in the future", he said.

For days US President Donald Trump has publicly raised hopes that Chinese cooperation, after a successful meeting at Mar-a-Lago, is underway. North Korea has been conducting several nuclear tests and missile launches in contravention of UNO resolutions.

North Korea's state television aired footage of a choral performance attended by Kim Jong Un, the elder Kim's grandson, on Sunday, a day after a huge military parade in Pyongyang, which also marked the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung.

In a press conference, Wang said China stays committed to the goal of denuclearisation in the Korean peninsula and would prefer the use of peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve the issue, Efe news reported.

Seoul, the South Korean capital, is just a stone's throw away from the military demarcation line that splits the Korean peninsula and is within easy range of North Korean long-range artillery.

The North has warned that its army is on "maximum alert" following Pence's visit on Monday to the heavily militarised border between the two Koreas, where he reiterated Washington's position that "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.

"If the United States is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Han told BBC.

Australia's prime minister also urged China to do more, saying Beijing has the "greatest obligation and responsibility" to de-escalate the threat from North Korea. "I think that the relationship that the president started building with President Xi down in Mar-a-Lago is clearly showing some positive signs".

"We're reviewing all of our trade agreements across the world to ensure that they benefit our economy as much as they benefit our trading partners", Pence told the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.