U.S. Vice President Mike Pence put North Korea on notice on Monday, warning that recent U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that the resolve of President Donald Trump should not be tested and said the “era of strategic patience” . Mr Pence is visiting South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia on a 10-day Asia tour. US Vice-President speaking in Seoul alongside South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn said:
“President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change,” Pence said in a speech just steps away from the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea. “We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable.”
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve — or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” Pence said during an appearance with Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn. “Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.”
Trump has also been in talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the country to use its significant influence on North Korea to persuade them to curb their nuclear ambitions. Pence reiterated that message Monday.
“We also call on other regional powers and the entire international community to join us to confront North Korea and demand that it abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, to turn away from renewed hostility towards its neighbors, and to end the repression of its own people,” he said.
The vice president also said he and Trump have “great confidence China will properly deal with North Korea.”
“But as President Trump made clear just a few short days ago,” he said, “if China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States, and our allies, will.”
The U.S. Navy this month struck a Syrian airfield with 59 Tomahawk missiles after a chemical weapons attack. On Thursday, the U.S. military said it had dropped “the mother of all bombs”, the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in Afghanistan.