North Korean official says will continue missile tests

Tuesday, 18 Apr, 2017

"I can not call the Obama administration's period an 'era of strategic patience, ' as the United States has been quite harshly limiting North Korea's capabilities to develop economy sectors related to nuclear or energy areas", Lavrov said, referring to past U.S. initiatives, many of them backed by the UN Security Council. But China furiously objects to its deployment, saying it could spy on its own defence installations, and has taken apparent retaliatory action against South Korean firms operating in its country.

Pence said he was disappointed that China had taken retaliatory actions against South Korea in response to the move.

"I think that, as the president's made clear, we're going to abandon the failed policy of "strategic patience" but we're going to redouble our efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to bear on North Korea", Pence told Bash.

Read: Where Are The World's Nuclear Weapons?

"The Trump administration, which made a surprise cruise guided missile strike at Syria on April 6, has entered the path of open threat and blackmail against (North Korea)", a spokesman for the Korean People's Army said according to state news agency KCNA.

In turn, North Korea has warned the U.S. not to take such provocative action and said it is "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks". That eased the risk of imminent retaliation from Trump, who had sent warships to the region. 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.

China has halted direct flights to North Korea for the interim, and in February it dramatically decreased coal shipments to its neighbor. If that test leads to a nuclear test or an ICBM launch, there would be "a powerful punishing measure that North Korean authority can't endure", South Korean officials said. China is concerned at the surveillance capabilities of Thaad and has responded by restricting sales of tour packages and suspending more than half of the stores Lotte operates in China, citing alleged fire safety violations.

Trump wrote on Sunday on Twitter that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem". Trump tweeted. "We will see what happens!".

South Korea, which accuses China or discriminating against some South Korean companies working in China, and the United States say the sole goal of THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles. He also described the bond between the USA and South Korea as "unshakeable" during an address on Monday.

Speaking at the village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ, Pence said America's relationship with South Korea was "ironclad and immutable". One is that a North Korean regime with nuclear weapons that can hit the United States is an intolerable, existential threat that must be prevented at any cost.

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.

U.S. concerns have mounted amid signs of progress in Pyongyang's efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of landing a nuclear warhead on the United States mainland.