'Sword stands ready,' Pence warns North Korea
US Vice President Mike Pence delivers a speech before US and Japanese soldiers on board the USS Ronald Reagan at the US Naval base in Yokosuka, on April 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Islam Times - US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened North Korea with an “overwhelming” response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.
Speaking on the deck of a massive US aircraft carrier on Wednesday, Pence cautioned North Korea against testing the resolve of the US military.
"Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and beat any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response," Pence told 2,500 sailors aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the US Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay.
"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready," he added.
His remarks come after Pyongyang carried out a missile launch on Sunday that the US said was a failure.
Pence also said that the US would work with its allies and China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on the North and increase its military presence in the region.
"The United States will strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific," he said. "Japan will assume a larger role and responsibility in our alliance in the years ahead."
Pence arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday from South Korea where he started his 10-day trip to Asia on Sunday hours after the North Korean missile test.
The vice president met Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and reassured them of the US commitment in the face of possible threats posed by North Korea.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has said he would expand America’s nuclear arsenal to ensure it is at the “top of the pack” amid a heated war of words between the US and North Korea.
Pyongyang has threatened the US with an “all-out war,” asserting that it will continue to test missiles on a regular basis.
The North has said such launches are an act of deterrence against a potential invasion by the US or South Korea.
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