Pence Admits Syria, Afghanistan Were Used as Props to Warn North Korea

Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that it's time for North Korea to "get the message" on halting its nuclear and ballistic ambitions.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits the main shrine of Sensoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The Trump administration has signalled a more forceful United States stance toward North Korea's recent missile tests and threats, including a warning from President Trump that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave".

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six Security Council resolutions banning any testing, and it has conducted additional missile tests this year including one this past weekend that failed.

After meetings with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders, Mr Pence told reporters that President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure has a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate.

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

North Korea's use of tracked transporter erector launchers, instead of wheeled vehicles, in its military parade over the weekend could be a result from China's crackdown on sales of large vehicles to the communist neighbor, a U.S. expert said Tuesday.

It featured a senior official, Choe Ryong Hae, warning of "all-out war" if North Korea is attacked.

He added that his company has "no way to monitor and approve the use of the trucks by North Korea".

"We're reviewing all of our trade agreements across the world to ensure that they benefit our economy as much as they benefit our trading partners", Pence told the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea. His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the USA would rely on its allies as well as Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea.

The Trump administration plans to "reform" the existing deal to level the playing field, he told the room of executives, most of whom represented US companies doing business in South Korea.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffSchiff to Trump: End "casual talk" on North Korea Why an independent counsel is necessary in an election probe Dems outraged over Spicer's Holocaust remarks MORE (D-Calif.) urged President Trump to avoid "casual talk" about North Korea or risk military conflict with the Asian nation.

And when asked what he plans next, President Trump said, "Wait and see". "If they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will!"

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said China had taken some "very helpful" steps, although it remained to be seen how effective these would be.

"Japan and the United States can play a pivotal role in spreading high-level fair [trade] rules over Asia and the Pacific region", he said.

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

In February, however, Trump, in a Reuters interview, labeled China as "grand champions" in currency manipulation.

  • Zachary Reyes