President Donald Trump warns he's ready to "solve North Korea", while North Korea's deputy foreign minister says his country will conduct its next nuclear test whenever it sees fit.
"I'm absolutely terrified [of USA attacking] because you remember [Trump] during the campaign said if someone hits, you gotta hit him back harder, and that's [North Korea's] exact mentality, . the scariest part is, there are 100 to 200,000 people in concentration camps in North Korea right now - you can see the camps on Google Earth - and people in these camps are told explicitly and constantly, 'if the USA imperialists invade we will kill you all and burn these camps down.' So if there's an attack we might be looking at genocide within a day".
"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence declared.
Pence also declared that the era of USA "strategic patience" in dealing with the North was over, after more than two decades. As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor.
The Vice President said that he and the President hope to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula "through peaceable means" with the cooperation of China, South Korea, Japan, and other allies in the region. But we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea.
But the USA is also working with China, North Korea's main ally, to pressure the regime to stop nuclear and missile tests.
"Whatever change happens in your elections the commitment of the US to South Korea's safety and security will remain unchanged", Pence said.
Tensions have been escalating on the peninsula, with heated rhetoric from both North Korea and the US. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated US response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.
McMaster cited Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government, as a sign that the President "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions".
"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan". Later, the Bush administration tried global pressure with the so-called "six party talks", but those failed too, and North Korea launched its first nuclear test in 2006.
Kim Jong-un may now be changing that approach, as the "axis of evil" state is blatantly developing and testing nuclear weaponry in a manner that even has Xi Jinping's China concerned enough to work with the Trump administration to stop.
In New York, the North's deputy United Nations ambassador, Kim In Ryong, said that U.S.
A war on the Korean peninsula would be a horrifying catastrophe. Last week Trump said he would not declare China a currency manipulator, pulling back from a campaign promise, as he looked for help from Beijing, which is the North's dominant trade partner.
"We didn't receive any request to take the trips off the shelf-the reason was poor sales", Wang Mi, a spokeswoman for the online travel company Tuniu.com, told AFP. While interest in North Korea spikes immediately after a missile launch, within hours internet search traffic is again dominated by TV comedy shows, taxes and real estate.