WRAPUP 3-Pence reassures Japan of U.S. resolve against North Korea

He also reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions, after warning on Monday that United States strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.

On Monday, Mr Pence travelled to the tense Demilitarised Zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the USA and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan", he said.

"We are with you 100 percent", he said, adding that the U.S.

The vice president, speaking to reporters Monday near the Korean Demilitarized Zone, 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".

"We are looking at a country that is going really fast toward a deliverable nuclear weapon and potentially a deliverable nuclear weapon on an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach a USA city".

Deputy UN ambassador Mr Kim said North Korea's policy was 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 North, which is intent on developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States, defied worldwide pressure Sunday with a test that failed immediately after launch.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence talks with members of the American Chamber of Commerce at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC that missiles would be tested on "a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

The two confirmed during a working lunch that China's role was important in dealing with North Korea, and they needed to work on China to take on a bigger role, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told reporters on Tuesday.

"We should stay on our toes to protect our territory and people's lives", Hwang said.

US Treasury Department on Friday declared that no major trading partners of the United States, including China, met the standard of manipulating its currency.

"The message of the people of the United States of America is that we seek peace, but America has always sought peace through strength and my message here today standing with U.S. forces Korea, standing with courageous soldiers from the Republic of Korea is a message of resolve".

United States officials said the Trump administration has settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement" after a two-month policy review.

China recognizes that North Korea is a problem, but it is pursuing a distinctly different path to a resolution than the U.S. Beijing has been encouraging both countries to engage in dialogue and is critical of Washington's willingness to apply military pressure. They also say greater Chinese cooperation is vital.

Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan, reporting from Hong Kong, said that China "was very keen to see this issue resolved peacefully".

"If the U.S. is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method", Han told BBC.

Thornton said any new North Korean nuclear test "would draw a pretty significant global response".

Meanwhile Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi made a new appeal for calm on the Korean Peninsula and says he believed the United States would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the stand-off.

"There's a lot of economic and political pressure points that I think China can utilize", Spicer said at his daily briefing.

  • Jon Douglas