US VP Pence says to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

Posted April 20, 2017

In an interview in Wisconsin, the U.S. president complained that his predecessors should have dealt with North Korea's pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, but said he was in the position now where he was "going to have to do something about it".

"If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will". Pence said he had spoken with Trump and by 2020 some 60% of the USA naval fleet would be in the region and Japan's role would grow. North Korea's deputy representative to the United Nations, Kim In Ryong, accused the United States on Monday of creating "a situation where nuclear war could break out an any time" and said the North's next nuclear test would take place "at a time and at a place where our headquarters deems necessary". As a result, US planners are not taking any chances when it comes to stepping-up missile defense technology and preparedness.

In response to a similar warning made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 17, North Korea's foreign ministry said the country is ready to counter any aggression by the US. "That's an alliance decision back, I guess, over a year ago now or about a year ago, and we have been sort of continuing apace in that decision", she said.

Asked if he envisioned direct negotiation between North Korea and the U.S., Pence said, "Not at this time".

"President Trump is very hopeful the Chinese will undertake to use the considerable leverage that they have over the economic lifeblood of the North Korean economy". The North Korean KN-08 missile, mentioned previous year by Commander of U.S. Northern Command Adm. William Gortney, can reach ranges greater than 3,400 miles, according to a recent report from the Associated Press.

"That kind of economic and diplomatic pressure will result we hope in the regime in Pyongyang forfeiting their ambitions, forfeiting their nuclear weapons program and joining the family of nations", he told CNN. An ICBM needs to travel through space carrying a warhead and then successfully re-enter the earth's atmosphere before hitting its target.

Tensions between Pyongyang and the Western world have steadily increased in recent years, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly ordered ballistic missile tests - acts that many USA officials view as provocative events.

According to the sources, the Pentagon would likely use an Aegis missile defense system on a Naval vessel to shoot down North Korean test missiles - not the more sophisticated Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system the United States is providing to South Korea's government for security.

With a stunning parade of missiles in Pyongyang on Saturday, the North's failed firing of a solid-fueled missile that same day, and the promise of new missile tests weekly, Kim is forcing our hand.

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

Pence reassured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the United States considers its alliance with Japan to be a cornerstone of security in the region, AP reported.