Vice President Mike Pence sent another clear warning to North Korea on Wednesday, telling personnel aboard a Japan-based US aircraft carrier that "all options are on the table" when dealing with the Stalinist regime.
Speaking on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan at the naval base in Yokosuka, Pence said Wednesday any military provocation would be met with an "effective American response", The Japan Times reported.
"When President Trump agreed to this dialogue, he envisioned this as a mechanism for enhancing bilateral commercial relations between the US and Japan and achieving results in the near future", Pence said before meeting his counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.
In response to a question about whether Chinese officials would help convince North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to end his ballistic missile and nuclear testing, the vice president said Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had a frank discussion about a broad range of worldwide issues, including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when Xi visited Trump earlier this month in Florida. Next, he will head to Japan, Indonesia, and Australia before returning to Hawaii. The president has signed an executive order for slashing trade deficits, and the White House has indicated its belief that the United States need not be bound by worldwide rules if they undermine America's interests.
While the nuclear test has yet to happen, Pence pushed the theme of tough talk after Sunday's failed missile launch.
In the latest of a series of warnings to Pyongyang that the U.S. 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".
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said tensions need to be eased on the Korean Peninsula to bring the escalating dispute to a peaceful resolution.
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But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Wednesday that he'd personally advised Trump be more blunt with Beijing, asking the President to "tell China that if you don't take care of it, we will".
Pence pointed out that the USA trade deficit with South Korea has more than doubled since the current free trade agreement between the two countries came into effect in 2012.
"That kind of economic and diplomatic pressure will result we hope in the regime in Pyongyang forfeiting their ambitions, forfeiting their nuclear weapons program and join the family of nations".
This prompted an nearly immediate response from South Korea's defense ministry, which said that the deployment was not influenced by politics, but declined to specify on how far the preparations had advanced. Dent said the relocation efforts for Japan and South Korea have been in the works for some time.
I asked, if the United States successfully helped liberate East Germany from the oppression of communism then, couldn't or shouldn't the United States help liberate North Korea now? But, look, we want to be clear.
Pence also said comments from the White House on the whereabouts of the USS Carl Vinson Navy Strike Group were not purposefully misleading.
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