Pence: Era of strategic patience with North Korea over

Vice President Mike Pence visited the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea on Monday, stressing that the US's strategic patience with North Korea was over, and that the USA is considering the use of military force.

The United States, its allies and China are working together on a range of responses to North Korea's latest failed ballistic missile test, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser said on Sunday, citing what he called an global consensus to act.

Sergey Lavrov is responding to Vice President Mike Pence's statement Monday in South Korea that the "era of strategic patience is over" with regard to North Korea's efforts to build nuclear weapons. He said the US and its allies would deal with the situation "through peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary".

North Korean state media last week warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, but the White House said there was no evidence it possessed that capability.

Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson, 7th Air Force commander, said: "Exercise Max Thunder serves as an invaluable opportunity for United States and South Korean forces to train together shoulder-to-shoulder and sharpen tactical skills vital to the defence and security of the Korean Peninsula". The presence of U.S. forces here in South Korea are a long-standing commitment to the Asia Pacific.

The foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday afternoon that China's nuclear envoy "Wu Dawei, on behalf of the Chinese government, has been doing quite a lot to bring all parties back to the negotiating table. working relentlessly for that". He also described the bond between the US and South Korea as "unshakeable" during an address on Monday.

But Trump has also shown he is willing to link trade to other issues, saying he would cut a better trade deal with China if it exerts influence on North Korea to curb its nuclear ambitions.

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"We never beg for peace but we will take the toughest counteraction against the provocateurs in order to defend ourselves by powerful force of arms and keep to the road chosen by ourselves", Kim said.

"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence declared.

Amid concerns the United States might launch a preemptive strike on North Korea, Pence said Washington would "closely consult" with Seoul "as we make decisions moving forward".

"Japan will closely cooperate with the United States and South Korea over North Korea and will call for China to take a bigger role", Abe told parliament.

Trump assessed that Xi is "going to try very hard" on North Korea.

Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday that China was working with the U.S. on "the North Korea problem".

Pence is on the first stop of a four-nation Asia tour meant to show America's allies, and remind its adversaries, that the Trump administration is not turning its back on the increasingly volatile region.

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A four-kilometre long stretch of land between the two squabbling neighbours is designated as a demilitarised zone, which has been in place since the end of the Korean War.

The new and inexperienced U.S. president has indicated he will not allow North Korea to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the western United States.

But Pence and Hwang said they were troubled by retaliatory economic moves by China against South Korea companies following the deployment in South Korea of a USA anti-missile system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the USA reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

Pence's words echo those of US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who on Sunday said that when it came to the North Korean nuclear program, "all of our options are on the able, undergoing refinement and further development". "That the nuclear test did not happen will surely be seen as the pressure working".

The North, under leader Kim Jong-Un, launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month ahead of a summit between the the United States and China.

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