Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Pence says still "a chance" diplomacy can stop North Korea

Meanwhile, US vice president Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the resolve of America's military, promising it would make an "overwhelming and effective" response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

"I think it's important that North Korea knows we're not trying to pick a fight, so don't try and give us one", she said. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated USA response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour. North Korea has been conducting several nuclear tests and missile launches in contravention of UNO resolutions.

U.S. President Donald Trump held his first summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month with a focus on North Korea.

Pence said, "We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan".

He said that an "all-out war" would result if the USA took military action.

Ministry official Kim Chang Min also said in the interview in Pyongyang that the United Nations, the Security Council and big countries ignored South Korean missile launches and Japanese surveillance satellites.

The country's deputy foreign minister, Han Song-Ryol, told the BBC that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles "on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

Before the free trade agreement between the two countries took effect in 2012, South Korea's trade surplus against the United States stood at $11.6 billion at end-2011.

In early March, 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.

U.S. Treasury Department on Friday declared that no major trading partners of the United States, including China, met the standard of manipulating its currency. Neither the United States nor the South Korean government is able to identify what type of missile was involved.

Pence's trip is part of an effort by the Trump administration to boost trade with east Asian nations other than China.

Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, signaled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats.

China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

North Korea is one of Trump's most hard national security challenges.

"The leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he said.

"I don't want to telegraph what I'm doing or what I'm thinking", Trump said.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a fresh appeal for calm. According to US officials, the missile exploded four to five seconds after being launched from a location near a North Korean submarine base in Sinpo along the country's eastern coast. With no US trade representative yet in office and other key positions still unfilled, such nitty-gritty discussions will have to come later. Every Republican and every Democrat has screwed up North Korea.

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