US VP Pence warns North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

Its latest missile test on Sunday failed a few seconds after launch.

Pence arrived in Tokyo from South Korea, where he assured leaders of an "iron-clad" alliance with the United States in the face of the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea and reassured Japan of United States commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions in a series of meetings with Japan's leaders, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pence's speech on the aircraft carrier followed meetings Tuesday in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where he noted that "all options are on the table". It is unclear if the Chinese state government was simply unaware or complicit, but the report demonstrated the difficulty in cutting North Korea off and isolating the country from the world.

Susan Thornton, acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China's top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, agreed in a phone call on Sunday on the need for strict enforcement of United Nations resolutions. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

After visiting South Korea, Pence moved on to Japan, where he visited a USA naval base and met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders.

In the latest of a series of warnings to Pyongyang that the United States will keep "everything on the table" to force it to give up its nuclear weapons programme, Mike Pence claimed North Korea was getting the message that it needed to walk away from "reckless activity".

As tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threaten confrontation in north-east Asia, the Pentagon is looking for ways short of war to pressure North Korea into denuclearization, particularly if Pyongyang goes forward with an anticipated sixth nuclear test. Pyongyang's United Nations envoy, Kim In Ryong, told reporters in NY on April 17 that the United States has pushed the Korean peninsula to the "brink of war".

But Pence reassured his jittery hosts that those decades-old security commitments are ironclad, a necessity made more acute after Washington's refusal to rule out military action against the North.

The other called for a freeze on US-South Korean military exercises and a freeze on DPRK missile and nuclear tests. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.

"Whatever comes from the USA, we will cope with it".

"If the United States dares opt for a military action. the DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans", Kim told a news conference, using the abbreviation of the country's official name. It is unclear what threat Trump believes North Korea actually represents and why it effects USA interests.

All of those who surrendered had over-stayed their visas, including 113 who had been on work permits and 183 on social visit passes, Malaysia's Immigration Department said in a statement.

But John Schilling from the 38 North monitoring group said the failure was indicative of the test of a new and hitherto unknown system being developed by Kim Jong-Un's regime.

In a 2012 Vice interview, a purported South Korean-born NATO soldier detailed South Korean defense planning and said that North Korea had "something like 130,000 well-trained special forces" who would land on the South Korean coast to "promote general chaos" in should a conflict break out.

  • Joanne Flowers