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

Trump warned on Monday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave" when asked about the situation by a reporter at the annual White House Easter egg roll.

Kim Jong-un's playground: Pyongyang as you've NEVER seen it before!

Instead, he said the results of Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping's summit at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month "are paying off".

The warning came after a tense weekend during which North Korea celebrated the birthdate of the regime's founder Kim Il-Sung with a massive military parade highlighting its growing missile capabilities. His language was stronger than in a written statement he issued shortly after the launch, in which he simply said he was aware of the failure. Yet North Korea has continued to paint the the aggressor.

"If I were North Korea, I'd keep it as a last strategic card", he said.

McMaster cited Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government, as a sign that the president "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions".

"We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable".

In a softening of USA rhetoric, acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton told reporters the U.S. wasn't seeking regime change or conflict in North Korea. While the situation is opaque and unpredictable, it is at least clear the "strategic patience" long deployed by a US-led worldwide community has failed to curb the rogue state's determination to become a nuclear power.

Since entering office, President Donald Trump, like his predecessor, Barack Obama, has pressed China to use its political and economic leverage over North Korea, its once-close ally.

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the United States reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario". "Now what am I going to do, start a trade war with China, in the middle of him working on a bigger problem, frankly, with North Korea?"

North Korea has been creeping towards intercontinental nuclear weapons capability for many years, in flagrant breach of its negotiated commitments and of global law. "So we'll see what happens".

". We appreciate the challenging time in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocation across the Sea of Japan".

Asked about his next move after Pyongyang's failed missile launch on Sunday, the USA president said: "You'll see". "But I am going to suspect that this was a new missile or certainly one that has not been well-developed".

Despite North Korea's failed missile launch yesterday - its second failed attempt this year - its nuclear threat remains undiminished and a sixth nuclear test could be next on the cards, said reports.

In response to North Korea's fifth nuclear test on September 9, the Obama administration deployed two nuclear-capable supersonic B-1B Lancer strategic bombers, dubbed "swans of death", four days later in a show of force against Pyongyang's provocation.

  • Carolyn Briggs