Pence aims to reassure allies amid North Korea threat

Trevor Jackson
April 17, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence is opening his trip to the Asia-Pacific region amid increasing tensions in North Korea over the regime's nuclear and missile programs.

Tensions have been on the rise along the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks over concerns about North Korean aggression.

Besides commercial ships and planes, Japan would want to send military aircraft and ships to assist in the evacuation if South Korea agreed, the official, familiar with the discussion, said.

North Korea has a history of marking significant dates with a show of military force, and Pence's arrival will come a day after the country celebrates its most important holiday on Saturday, the 105th birth anniversary of the country's late founder, Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of its current leader.

Pence said Sunday at a fellowship dinner at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul that the willingness of military members "to stand firm without fear inspires the nation and inspires the world".

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President Donald] Trump is particularly undesirable", said real estate economist Tom Davidoff of UBC's Sauder School of Business.


U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to Seoul in February and March, respectively, to highlight that Washington's commitment to the defense of South Korea will remain "ironclad".

North Korea's only backer - was quoted Friday as saying a conflict could break out "at any moment", adding that there would be no winners in a war. It may be up to his vice president, Mike Pence, to fill in the details during a visit to Asia.

After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration has settled on a policy toward the North that relies on "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday. His trip will also take him to Indonesia and Australia. This matters because while North Korea regularly launches short-range missiles, it is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target US troops in Asia and, eventually, the USA mainland. "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea".

"There is certain to be powerful punitive measure that will be hard for the North Korean regime to endure", the South's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests previous year, including its most powerful to date, and there have been a slew of shorter range missile firings.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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