Trump on North Korea: 'I Don't Want to Telegraph What I'm Doing'

Trevor Jackson
April 19, 2017

"It is a matter of paramount importance for us to seek diplomatic efforts as well as peaceable settlements of the issue", he said.

The Pentagon has not discussed which missile blew up "almost immediately" after launch early Sunday from near Sinpo on the North's east coast, and the White House has said only that it was a medium-range device. "Start a trade war with China while in the middle of him working on a bigger problem, frankly, with North Korea?" he said. Pence said the US and Japan had launched talks that could eventually result in a bilateral trade deal between the two economies. On top of that, a recent report by the U.S. Trade Representative specifically points to South Korea and China as countries that employ unfair trade practices.

Speaking alongside South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday, Mr Pence said North Korea should not test US President Donald Trump.

The unannounced visit at the start of Pence's 10-day trip to Asia was a USA show of force that allowed him to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

Pence said on Monday the world had seen Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, with a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan. The holiday is traditionally marked by the presence of both cultural festivals and military shows of force, which demonstrates something oft-forgotten about the state of North Korea: The country is not made up of only a military and a demagogic leader bent on the nuclear annihilation of every one of his opponents. The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale US and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion. Although the USA government is still trying to resolve the issue "peacefully" it is not something that they can allow to linger.

What has the United States told North Korea?

China banned imports of North Korean coal, its most important export, in February, and Chinese media have raised the possibility of restricting oil shipments to the North.

Behind the heated rhetoric, in fact, Trump's strategy in the region looks somewhat similar to predecessor Barack Obama's - albeit with the added unpredictability of a new president who has shown he's willing to use force.

Pence's comments at the news conference elicited concern from Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov.

But senior North Korean officials remained defiant.

"Today we are beginning a process of economic dialogue, the end of which may result in bilateral trade negotiations in the future", Pence told a news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, his counterpart at Tuesday's talks. The high-profile failure came as the North tried to showcase its nuclear and missile capabilities around the birth anniversary of the North's late founder and as a US aircraft carrier neared the Korean Peninsula. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

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Despite the tension, North Korea may carry out a sixth nuclear test soon, observers say.

U.S. battleships were moved into the waters near the Korean peninsula as a precaution.

He told the parliamentary session that the government is formulating measures including protecting foreigners, creating landing procedures, building and operating shelters, and screening asylum seekers.

North Korea celebrated its most significant holiday, the Day of the Sun, last week.

However, North Korea does not seem to be cowed.

North Korea's envoy to the United Nations Kim In Ryong said the regime was preparing for "any mode of war" triggered by potential U.S. military action, and said his country would respond to a missile or nuclear strike "in kind".

KIM IN RYONG, Deputy North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations: The DPRK is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the Americans. The Trump administration has labeled this policy "maximum pressure and engagement", although officials acknowledge there is no current engagement with Pyongyang.

Kim said U.S. -South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill" aimed at his country, formally called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea rolled out what it claimed were intercontinental ballistic missiles at a parade on Saturday, but according to former Defense Secretary William Perry, it would never use them in a first strike.

Throughout his bareknuckle election campaign, Trump repeatedly called into question a mutual defence treaty between Japan and the United States, suggesting Tokyo should pay for its own security.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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