America's era of strategic patience with North Korea is over: US Vice-President

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visits the truce village of Panmunjom

Pence, whose father is a Korean War veteran, earlier visited the Demilitarized Zone between the Koreas, where he could see North Korean soldiers across the divide.

US Vice President Mike Pence visited the Korean demilitarized zone Monday, a day after the embarrassing failure of a North Korean missile test which the US and South Korea said exploded on launch.

Seoul was Pence's first stop on a four-nation tour in Asia.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has said that America's era of strategic patience with North Korea is over.

On the North Korean side, soldiers often stand watch over each other, as well as their neighbors to the south, to guard against attempted defections.

Just ahead of Pence's arrival in Seoul, North Korea attempted and failed to launch an unidentified missile in their latest weapons test, further raising worldwide concerns.

Trump has sent a battle group of ships and submarines to the area, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Abe also urged China and Russian Federation to play more constructive roles on the issue.

President Trump has called on China for help in dealing with North Korea, and the administration has insisted the two world powers are working together to quell what the president has called "the North Korea problem".

Tensions on the peninsula have ratcheted up in recent weeks, amid tit-for-tat saber-rattling from the United States and North Korea and analysts' warnings that North Korea was preparing for a sixth nuclear test.

Asked about what role China could have in denuclearizing North Korea, Pence stated that he and the President are "heartened by some initial steps that China has taken in this regard, but we look for them to do more".

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The regime followed that - according to United States and South Korean officials - with an attempted missile test Sunday from the eastern port of Sinpo. Special operations troops recently drilled in preparation for a possible strike on an enemy missile base, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have increased over the past weeks. "We will see what happens!" Trump had dismissed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as "obsolete", but now says it is "no longer obsolete". Trump has backed away from a campaign promise to label China in that way.

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

"The president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons", McMaster continued.

For one thing, it needs to block Chinese businesses from continuing to sell missile parts and nuclear technologies to North Korea.

The missile launch took place in Sinpo, a port city near eastern North Korea, CNN reported.

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. White House officials say the trip is meant to lay out a framework for future foreign policy relationships.

"We had good intelligence before the launch and good intelligence after the launch", the adviser told reporters on condition of anonymity. U.N. experts, however, have been skeptical about the ability of nations to avoid having sanctions skirted over time. China on Friday again called for talks to defuse the crisis. China's customs department issued an order on April 7 telling traders to return North Korean coal cargoes, trading sources said.

Pence made clear that the USA wants to see the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, abandon "its nuclear program and its ballistic missile program" and that the US hopes to see China take actions necessary to achieve this change.

Measuring 150 miles long, it became the de facto border that separates North and South Korea following the end of the Korean War in 1953. The country's aim is to be able to put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach targets across the world, including the US.

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