US VP Pence says to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'


Lu said Beijing wants to resume the multi-party negotiations that ended in stalemate in 2009 and suggested that US plans to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea were damaging its relations with China.

North Korea has warned its army is on "maximum alert" after the USA vice president visited the heavily militarized border between the two Koreas and reiterated Washington's position that "all options are on the table" in dealing with Pyongyang.

US Vice President Mike Pence reassured Japan of American commitment to reining in North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions on Tuesday, after warning that US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed the strength of its resolve.

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BBC reports on the situation in the article headlined North Korea tension: China "seriously concerned" about nuclear threats.

In response, the general staff of the North Korean armed forces threatened to launch a strike against USA military bases in Japan and South Korea, as well as the presidential residence in Seoul in case of U.S. aggression. Despite this weekend's missile failure, last month, the country launched four ballistic missiles more than 600 miles.

Mr Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday hours after North Korea carried out a failed missile launch.

Pence's speech on the aircraft carrier followed meetings Tuesday in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where he noted that "all options are on the table".

Pence's advisers said the vice president would make the case to Abe and Aso that the USA rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, under Trump does not signal a US withdrawal from trade and economic development in the region. Pyongyang continues to threaten to destroy Japan, South Korea, and the United States with its missiles.

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Pence's visit came amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula.

China expresses serious concern with recent trends about North Korea's nuclear and missile development.

North Korea's latest missile test fizzled over the weekend, but it conducted two nuclear test explosions and 24 ballistic missile tests a year ago.

North Korea showed off an array of weapons including missiles in a military parade Saturday before an unsuccessful ballistic missile test the following day.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said China had taken some "very helpful" steps, although it remained to be seen how effective these would be.

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.

Mr Pence wants Japan to do more to open up its markets to American goods and may seek a two-way deal.

The weapons are needed to protect the government and system, Han said, noting the country has learned the "lesson" from Libya and Syria where "people are suffering from great misfortune" due to US-led attempts at regime change.