VP Pence says United States commitment to Korea "iron-clad"

North Korea will continue to test missiles on a weekly basis despite mounting military tensions with the USA, a senior official has said.

On Monday, the US and South Korea launched a joint air force military exercise to ensure readiness against North Korea, according to South Korean media.

"The United States introducing in South Korea, the Korean peninsula, the worlds biggest hot spot, the huge nuclear strategic asset, seriously threatening the peace and security of the peninsula, and pushing the situation there to brink of war [sic]", Ambassador Kim In-Ryong said.

"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan", Pence told media referring to missile strikes in Syria for deadly chemical attack and Mother Of All Bombs dropped on an ISIS tunnel complex in Afghanistan.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - 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 unsafe situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

Later Monday, Pence reiterated in a joint statement alongside South Korean Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn that "all options are on the table" to deal with threat and said any use of nuclear weapons by Pyongyang would be met with "an overwhelming and effective response". And just hours before Pence arrived in Seoul on Saturday, North Korea launched another ballistic missile that the Washington Post reported could theoretically reach the United States (although it exploded in a few seconds).

The visit came after a huge military parade Saturday during which North Korea showcased apparent intercontinental ballistic missiles, and as a U.S. carrier group converges on the Korean peninsula.

Kim said the DPRK's policy is shaped by the Trump administration's push for "high intensity sanctions" against the country, deploying tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea and launching military action aimed at "beheading" the North's leadership headed by Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. moved a Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula earlier this month, which elicited threats from Pyongyang of "tough counteraction" should the U.S. attack, as The Two-Way reported. "And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't".

Beijing has dismissed any political motive behind the cancellation of flights to Pyongyang, amid speculations that the move was meant to pressure North Korea over its missile program.




Pence vowed "unwavering support" for South Korea, adding, "We are with you 100 percent".

The rejection came on Monday after Chinese state broadcaster CCTV announced three days earlier that Air China, the country's flag carrier, had suspended its Beijing-Pyongyang route in the wake of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula involving the United States.

Pence made an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia in a USA show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

But this morning, Japanese media claimed both China and Russian Federation had dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the "armada" amid mounting concern over the USA deployment.

But he will no doubt address worries in Washington that any new government may slow-walk the deployment of THAAD - a system created to shoot down missiles from North Korea or elsewhere.

Kim stressed that U.S.

(Pence) "We hope to achieve this objective through peaceable means".

Trump has stated that he wants to see China take a larger role in pressuring the North Korean regime.

Pence said the United States was going to rebuild its military, "restore the arsenal of democracy" and give troops the resources they needed to accomplish their mission. The operation was begun three years ago under President Barack Obama's administration. But at the same time, McMaster said on "This Week" on ABC that "it's time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully".

China has appearing increasingly frustrated with its North Korean neighbour and ally, speaking out against the weapons tests and supporting United Nations sanctions, while repeatedly calling for talks. "On the way here, we saw some of the terrain my father fought in", he said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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