Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Pence warns NKorea 'era of strategic patience is over'

Pence warns NKorea 'era of strategic patience is over'

Image: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during an upper house panel session at the Parliament in Tokyo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo April 13, 2017.

The White House foreign policy adviser travelling with Pence told reporters that the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded about 4 to 5 seconds after it was launched.

Vice President Mike Pence will begin his highly-anticipated trip to Asia Saturday as tension continues to build on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea vowing to continue its provocative campaign to test and advance its nuclear program.

His visit comes just after a failed missile launch by the North.

Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

"It could have failed because the system is not competent enough to make it work, but there is a very strong belief that the United States through cyber methods has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail", Rifkind said.

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exchanged views on the "situation on the Korean peninsula" by phone on Sunday, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.

"Our government condemns this serious threat on the Korean peninsula and overall worldwide society", the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

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While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated USA response is trailing Pence as he undertakes a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric.

It came after North Korea displayed almost 60 missiles - including what is suspected to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile - at a parade on Saturday to mark the 105th birthday of its founder Kim Il-Sung.

A USA military spokesman, confirming the launch, said the missile blew up nearly immediately. "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea".

Washington sees North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as a threat to world security and to its Asian allies, Japan and South Korea.

President Donald Trump have been in contact, aides to the vice president said.

North Korea has a habit of firing off missiles to mark major political anniversaries, or as gestures of defiance to top U.S. officials visiting the region. He says the Trump administration hopes their clarity will be received in North Korea, adding the USA and its allies will achieve its objectives through "peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary" to protect South Korea and stabilize the region. "We will see what happens!" But the failure will sting in Pyongyang because it comes a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year- celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather. North Korea regularly launches short-range missiles, but it is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland.

Along with the deployment of the USA aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of US and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were deployed last month in their biggest joint military exercises.

Tension had escalated sharply in the region amid concerns that the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile test launch timed with the April 15 anniversary it calls the "Day of the Sun".

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