North Korea: Mike Pence in Seoul to reaffirm support to Asia allies

Tension had escalated sharply in the region amid concerns that the North may conduct a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile test launch around the April 15 birth anniversary of founding father Kim Il Sung it calls the "Day of the Sun".

Speaking Sunday, US national security adviser H. R. McMaster said the US hopes not to use military force but warned "this problem is coming to a head".

In a TV interview that aired on Sunday, Mr McMaster said the USA would rely on its allies as well as on the Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea.

"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world", said Pence. He also stressed that all options will be on the table in dealing with North Korea.

"Our commitment to this historic alliance to the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger", Pence said remarks before troops at an Easter dinner.

Meanwhile the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula, leading Pyongyang to accuse Donald Trump of "creating a war situation".

Pence visits the border village of Panmunjom a day after the North conducted a failed missile launch.

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Early today, the United States and South Korea launched a joint air force military exercise to ensure readiness against North Korea, according to South Korean media.

It comes as Washington steps up the pressure on the isolated North, with President Donald Trump saying that the United States is ready to act alone to deal with the nuclear threat.

The regime followed that - according to USA and South Korean officials - with an attempted missile test Sunday from the eastern port of Sinpo.

The official said that had it been a nuclear test, "other actions would have been taken by the U.S".

Pyongyang's latest provocation comes amid simmering tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the rogue state's nuclear weapons programme.

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.

The rocket blew up over the port city of Sinpo "almost immediately", US Pacific Command said, leaving insane Kim raging with embarrassment.

China is urging a return to negotiations over North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons after Vice President Mike Pence warned that the US has lost its patience with the regime.

Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the think tank RAND Corporation, said he thinks the missiles were not the kind that could reach the United States' mainland.

The Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, a global ban on its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, Reuters reported last week, citing U.S. officials.

The Government has said it is "concerned" by reports of a failed missile test by North Korea and is closely monitoring the situation.

North Korea is already among the most heavily sanctioned nations, facing numerous strictures to limit its ability to conduct commerce, participate in global finance and trade in weapons and other contraband.

Earlier Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said of the situation that "we have been here before" and urged Pyongyang to adhere to United Nations resolutions in order to secure peace.

"We have no further comment".

  • Zachary Reyes