Trump on North Korea: Kim 'gotta behave'

2017-04-18 12:11
In this undated photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill at an undisclosed location. (Korean Central News Agency, Korea News Service via AP)

In this undated photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill at an undisclosed location. (Korean Central News Agency, Korea News Service via AP)

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Panmunjom - The White House displayed a tough and unyielding approach to North Korea and its nuclear ambitions Monday, with President Donald Trump warning that Kim Jong Un has "gotta behave" and Vice President Mike Pence sternly advising Kim not to test America's resolve and military power.

Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea, signalled a forceful US stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats. But no one was predicting what might come next.

Behind the heated rhetoric, in fact, Trump's strategy in the region looks somewhat similar to predecessor Barack Obama's - albeit with the added unpredictability of a new president who has shown he's willing to use force.

Pence, inspecting the DMZ, warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the US and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over". 

"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve - or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region," Pence said at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia.

Pence's remarks also came with hope for a diplomatic path. Washington, he said, was looking for security "through peaceable means, through negotiations."

In the meantime, North Korea's deputy UN ambassador accused the United States of turning the Korean peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

Kim In Ryong told a news conference on Monday that US-South Korean military exercises being staged now are the largest-ever "aggressive war drill".  He said North Korea's measures to bolster its nuclear forces are self-defensive "to cope with the US vicious nuclear threat and blackmail," and he said his country "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US". 


Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  north korea  |  north korea nuclear programme

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