U.S. Military Considers Shooting Down North Korea Missile Tests

"North Korea is a problem". Lavrov added that he hopes the United States will not take any unilateral action against Pyongyang. He also warned the reclusive North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions, that the "era of strategic patience" was over.

During a working lunch with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Pence said his government stood with Japan "100 per cent" in the face of what he called "provocation" from its reclusive neighbour across the sea.

But a missile test-launched on Sunday exploded shortly after takeoff, and a widely anticipated sixth nuclear test never materialized.

"We'll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis", Han told the BBC in an interview, threatening "all-out war" if the United States took any action against it.

In the past, Trump has repeatedly placed blame on China - which provides crucial economic support to Kim Jong Un's regime - saying that Xi can curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions but has refused.

He said the Trump administration's deployment of the Carl Vinson nuclear carrier task group to waters off the Korean Peninsula again "proves the USA reckless moves for invading the DPRK have reached a serious phase of its scenario".

He called it "another abuse of authority" by the United States, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, and a violation of the DPRK's sovereignty.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked.

Mike Pence reassures Japan of USA resolve on North Korea
Abe said he supported Trump's stance that strategic patience with North Korea had run out, and that all options were on the table. Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade.

Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea earlier, have signaled a forceful USA stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats.

"But at the same time", the prime minister said, "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is valueless and it is necessary for us to exercise pressure North Korea so that it comes forward and engages in this serious dialogue".

The Trump administration has said military action remains an option for dealing with North Korea.

Mr Trump has been pressuring China, North Korea's benefactor, to help defuse the situation, but has also warned that the U.S. will settle the issue alone if other countries will not help.

Mr. Pence's advisers said the Vice President would make the case to Mr. Abe and Mr. Aso that the USA rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, under Mr. Trump does not signal a US withdrawal from trade and economic development in the region. If China decides to help, that would be great. The spokesman also said China remains firmly committed to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.

On April 14, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment" and warned there would be "no winner" in any war.

"We want to see North Korea abandon its reckless path of the development of nuclear weapons, and also its continual use and testing of ballistic missiles is unacceptable". Trump campaigned on an "America First" platform, and has vowed to narrow big trade deficits with nations like China and Japan.

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