China, U.S. working on 'North Korea problem'

Referring to the display of intercontinental ballistic missile by North Korea during a recent parade, the US National Security Advisor said the goal of that parade is to demonstrate military prowess in a threatening way.

A White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Vice President Mike Pence says the US had good intelligence both before and after the launch.

"We have a wide array of tools at disposal for the president should he choose to use them", the official said.

His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the US would rely on its allies as well as on Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea.

At the very least, to US military bases in Japan.

Pence is joined by his wife and two adult daughters and will lay a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery and join US and South Korean troops for Easter Sunday church services and a dinner.

I'm imagining walking into a room of experts in all the different areas relevant to evaluating the North Korean situation, e.g. experts on the various military issues, on the North Korean regime, on the interests and behavior of the Chinese government, on the history of nuclear deterrence.

The new consensus is "that this problem is coming to a head".

"North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of", Trump said after the "Mother of All Bombs" was dropped, amid reports of activity at a North Korean nuclear test site.

Mr Pence will be meeting South Korea's Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn and National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye Kyun today.

Asked if he was confident that China will pressure North Korea in a meaningful way, McMaster replied, "We'll see what happens".

Speaking after North Korea's latest missile test, which U.S. officials called a failure, H.R. McMaster said, "I think there's an global consensus now, including-including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership-that this is a situation that just can't continue".

McMaster praised China's decision to abstain last week from a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria's recent chemical weapons attack, calling it a "courageous" move. The Asia trip will help expand Pence's foreign policy footprint, but the vice president likely will find himself spending a lot of time explaining the policies and statements of Trump, an untraditional politician who is nearing the end of his first 100 days in office.

"Japan will closely cooperate with the US and South Korea over North Korea and will call for China to take a bigger role", Mr Abe told parliament.

Pence was beginning a 10-day trip to Asia in what his aides said was a sign of US commitment to its ally in the face of rising tension.

North Korean state media has made no comment on the launch.

"The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent", Wang said at a news conference.

"This guy (Kim) is not interested in negotiation". And it showed off canisters that seemed in line with what would be required for an intercontinental ballistic missile, which is Washington's greatest concern.

North Korea launched a missile today but it blew up nearly immediately after its launch.

The world has been on tenterhooks this weekend as North Korea ramped up its bloodcurdling rhetoric threatening a nuclear response to any American-led preventive attack on its ballistic missile programme.

The North launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month ahead of a summit between the leaders of the United States and China to discuss the North's arms program. The Pentagon confirmed later that the latest missile launch by the DPRK had failed. The briefer on Pence's plane called it "a medium-range missile".

Sunday's launch comes a day after the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

  • Leroy Wright