'Sword stands ready,' Pence warns North Korea

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"The threat is upon us, " says outgoing deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland.

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.

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recently said "China is the key" to stopping North Korea. China's chief source of leverage is now trade, as it accounts for more than four-fifth's of North Korean global commerce.

"We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, and economic measures and all options are on the table", Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross said.

While President Trump said he is working with China on the North Korean problem, Gordon Chang said the president will have to play a strong hand in order to reverse years of failed foreign policy.

Another issue arises. Before the US launches any pre-emptive strike on North Korea, Congress should be called back into session to authorize any act of war against the North. The North conducted two nuclear test explosions and 24 ballistic missile tests in 2016, and experts predict it could have a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the USA mainland within a few years.

"Now I'm put in a position where he actually has nuclear and we're going to have to do something about it", Trump added.

U.S. -based Chinese-language Boxun News, citing a Beijing source, said that Chinese President Xi Jinping attempted to send Wu Dawei, China's special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, to Pyongyang after his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

No matter whether Trump succeeds at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile programs, his actions, comments and tweets are changing how the region views the long-running conflict.

The North Koreans launched another missile just days after the engine test, but it exploded "within seconds of launch", according to US Pacific Command.

What can the outside world do about N Korea?

North Korea already possesses the ability to hit Japan and South Korea with nuclear weapons and will soon have the ability to hit the continental United States with one. "If not, we will solve the problem without them!"

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency called the carrier's deployment "nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region".

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

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

Pence also said the US would protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the sea lanes vital to global shipping where China has been staking claim to disputed territory.

But the Trump administration has made it clear this policy is now over, and has not ruled out military action.

"Trump is posing a hard choice to Beijing - do something, something about North Korea and hope it generates some effects, or face American economic retaliation", said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

The language on North Korea's nuclear program was more straightforward. Then, our government would follow its own Constitution and use our military for the only thing it is constitutionally authorized to do - provide for our own defense.

It comes as Trump warned North Korea that it needs to keep its nuclear ambitions in check, telling dictator Kim Jong-un he has "got to behave". It's past time for the United States to act decisively.

On Monday, the paper again called for China to cut off most oil supplies to North Korea if there was another nuclear test.

On Sunday, Lt Gen HR McMaster, the United States top security adviser, said his country was working on a "range of options" with China, the first confirmation the two countries were co-operating to find a solution to the North Korean issue.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday told a parliamentary session that diplomatic efforts were "important to maintain peace", but "dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless". Abe stressed the importance of a peaceful outcome but acknowledged a need to apply pressure so that Pyongyang would become open to dialogue.

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