Pence: US won't rest until N. Korea gives up nuclear weapons

Pence: US won't rest until N. Korea gives up nuclear weapons

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence praised Indonesia's democracy and moderate form of Islam on Thursday alongside the president of the world's most populous Muslim nation, reinforcing his message with a visit to the region's largest mosque.

From two continents, top Trump administration officials warned Tuesday that North Korea's latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the United States was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has called for coordinated diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

The South Korean official said that while Wu was sometimes "abrasive" during the early rounds of Six Party talks, "he was just the person we needed at the time to keep the talks alive".

"From my understanding, we haven't had any business with the North Korean market since past year; North Korea has never been a major focus of ours", said the official, who gave only his family name, Gu.

He told the BBC: "We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".

"There is a very strong belief that the USA - through cyber methods - has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail", former British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind told the BBC.

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.

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To the extent that Pence's visit is aimed at shoring up Washington's regional alliances and partnerships, the four stops of his tour share at least one common theme: the goal of countering China's expanding security footprint in the South and East China seas and, more broadly, to constrain Beijing's long-term strategy of replacing the United States as the dominant power in East Asia.

At the outset of their meeting, Pence reiterated to Abe his statement in South Korea that the United States has run out of patience with Pyongyang's moves.

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

But the vice president said he was encouraged and believed North Korea was listening to the Trump administration's concerns.

US officials say tougher sanctions could include an oil embargo, a global ban on North Korea's airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

In early March, the North simultaneously fired four ballistic missiles off its east coast, three of which fell provocatively close to Japan, in what it said was a drill for an attack on USA bases in the country.

Pyongyang has threatened a "nuclear pre-emptive strike" if the United States presses ahead with military action.

That deal was soon scuppered, however, when North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in October 2006 then pulled out of the discussions in 2009. YEMEN A political solution through United Nations -brokered negotiations is needed to resolve the conflict in Yemen, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says as he makes his first trip in the role to Saudi Arabia. U.S.