North Korea will test missiles weekly, senior official says

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Vice President Mike Pence on Monday visited the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, where he delivered a warning to the north.

Kim In Ryong told a news conference that "if the USA dares opt for a military action", North Korea "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S".

Pence told reporters that the North Korean people and military "should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies", calling the alliance "iron-clad".

US Vice President Mike Pence shakes hands with National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun during their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, April 17, 2017. It allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

Each time, the visits have prompted North Korean soldiers to snap photographs of the visiting Americans - something that is thought to be an effort not only to document the events, but also to intimidate the USA officials.

Pence on Monday warned North Korea not to test President Donald Trump's resolve, declaring that "all options are on the table" for curbing its missile and nuclear weapons programmes. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential test and an escalated US response has trailed Pence as he undertakes his Asian tour.

"There was a period of strategic patience but the era of strategic patience is over", he said.

Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said on Sunday that the United States, its allies and China were working on a range of responses to North Korea's latest missile test, citing what he called an global consensus to act.

"Beijing has reasons and means to discipline Kim, but is more concerned with ensuring the survival of his regime, thus maintaining a buffer against United States military presence in the South". -South Korean military camp, which is just outside the 2.5-mile (4.02-kilometer)-wide DMZ. He said his country "is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S".

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would not tolerate "missile adventures by Pyongyang" but a unilateral use of power by the United States would be "a very risky course".

"It's natural for Air China or other airlines to make such decisions", Lu told a regular press briefing. Is the Korean peninsula headed for war? Doing so set USA troops and security personnel nearby "scrambling", the news channel reported.

"All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country", he told reporters as tinny propaganda music floated across from the North Korean side of the so-called demilitarized zone (DMZ).

"The world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan, North Korea would do well not to test his resolve", Pence said.

Visitors to the Joint Security Area are typically warned that there has been violence there in the past, including a grisly attack in 1976 in which North Korean soldiers killed U.S. Army Capt. Arthur Bonifas and Lt. Mark Barrett with axes after they attempted to cut down a tree that blocked the view of United Nations observers. "But dialogue for the sake of having dialogue is meaningless".

However in spite of the words, USA officials say the Trump administration is focusing on tougher economic sanctions in response to North Korea.

With both governments in agreement on the goal, they are approaching it in markedly different ways, with the United States adopting the role of the bellicose "bad cop" while Chinese President Xi Jinping, calling North Korea to the negotiating table, plays the role of "good cop".

South Korea, which accuses China or discriminating against some South Korean companies working in China, and the United States say the sole goal of THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles.

On the diplomatic front, the White House is looking to China, North Korea's primary trading partner, to turn up pressure on the north.

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