'The era of strategic patience is over' - tensions between US and North Korea continue to escalate

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Associated Press

In a trip dominated by concerns about North Korea's nuclear intentions, Vice President Mike Pence assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today that the United States is ready to work closely with its Asian allies in the region to achieve, "a peaceable resolution and the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula". 

The BBC's John Sudworth spoke with North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister, who said a pre-emptive strike was an option.
Source: BBC

"We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing provocations from across the Sea of Japan," Pence said after arriving from Seoul for talks with Abe.

"We are with you 100 percent," the visiting vice president said.

President Donald Trump earlier warned that North Korean President Jong Un has "gotta behave."

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.

"We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan, but as you know and the United States knows, peace comes through strength and we will stand strongly with Japan and strongly with our allies for a peace and security in this region," Pence added.

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 on Monday had traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea, where he warned North Korea's leaders that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, "the era of strategic patience is over".

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