In the aftermath of a missile missile fire from Pyongyang , the vice president arrived Monday morning by helicopter at a US military base in South Korea, near the border between the latter and North Korea.
A missile test ran short on Sunday after a few seconds, shortly before the Vice President arrived in Seoul on a 10-day Asian tour to highlight Washington’s commitment to the region.
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a four-kilometer-wide strip of land planted with mines and lined with barbed wire, divides the Korean peninsula in two. Soldiers are constantly posted on both sides.
Mike Pence, whose father is a veteran of the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, praised the “foolproof alliance” between the United States and South Korea and said that Washington would seek peace through strength.
All the options are on the table to establish these objectives and to guarantee the stability of the people of this country.
President Trump made it clear that no particular military strategy would be discussed, he added.
“There was a period of strategic patience, but this era of strategic patience is over,” Mike Pence told reporters as the low sound of propaganda music escaped from the North Korean side.
North Korea ‘Thermonuclear war’
North Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador accused the United States on Monday of turning the Korean Peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment.”
Kim In Ryong told a news conference that “if the U.S. dares opt for a military action,” North Korea “is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.”
He said the Trump administration’s deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again “proves the U.S. reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario.”
Kim stressed that U.S.-South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever “aggressive war drill” aimed at his country, formally the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The prevailing grave situation proves once again that the DPRK was entirely just when it increased in every way its military capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot.”
Tensions have escalated over North Korean moves to accelerate its weapons development. The North conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests last year, defying six Security Council sanctions resolutions banning any testing, and it has launched more missiles this year including a failed attempt this past weekend.