North Korea is 'getting the message': US Vice Prez Pence

But economic policy advisers traveling with Pence reportedly said the trip is also aimed at reassuring Washington's allies that the current administration wants to boost trade in the Asia Pacific region particularly after the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

"You're aware that the leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile", he recently told reporters.

"I think the USA has been clear that we want to resolve this issue through the peaceful de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula", said Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton.

The US trade deficit with South Korea in 2016 amounted to $27.6 billion.

On the campaign trail, Trump criticized the South Korea-US free trade agreement as a "job killer" especially for the US auto industry, and immediately already pulled out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership after taking office. "Her steel deck literally signifies the ironclad alliance our country enjoys with Japan, and our enduring commitment to the Asia-Pacific". Japan and the USA seem to have different ideas on how to take their trading relationship forward.

On the other hand, if there is a military clash between the United States and North Korea, Japan could be subject to retaliation.

"Beyond the noble ship and the carrier strike group that it leads, by the year 2020, this ocean will boast 60 percent of our Navy's fleet".

The vice president earlier visited a military installation near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders at the joint US-South Korean installation, which is just outside the 2.5-mile wide (4 kilometers) DMZ.

The vice president brought greetings from President Donald J. Trump and commended the troops for their vigilance "here along this historic frontier of freedom".

"We need to minimize as many unique Korea standards which would make it easier to buy American products made in America", Kim said at the meeting with Pence.

It can soon get back to being an active member of Mr Trump's "arsenal of democracy", as Mr Pence termed America's ever-growing military.

"The shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", he said.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, place a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery in South Korea, April 16, 2017.

"North Korea is the most risky and urgent threat to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific", he said.

Mr Trump has previously said he hopes China will lean on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons and missiles programme, but that if it did not, the USA will act alone to eliminate the threat. They have impoverished their people and embittered the region in their pursuit of this risky goal.

North Korea conducted another banned missile test Sunday - although it reportedly failed nearly immediately after launch - the same day that North Korean state television broadcast an official concert celebrating the birthday of the country's founder Kim Il Sung, which featured graphics depicting a catastrophic missile strike on the U.S.

"As (U.S.) President (Donald) Trump has made clear to the world, the era of strategic patience is over", the vice president said.

  • Leroy Wright