World

Pence Warns North Korea Not To 'Test' US Strength

| by Ray Brown

Vice President Mike Pence visited South Korea and warned North Korean leaders not to test the U.S. "or the strength of our military forces."

"We will defeat any attack and we will meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective response," Pence said, adding that when it comes to North Korea, South Korea's longtime antagonist neighbor, "all options are on the table,″ according to CNN.

Pence's words came soon after North Korea attempted to test another missile, which failed ‶almost immediately,″ according to U.S. and South Korea military officials and reported on by NBC News.

While the failed missile test was not a nuclear missile, the country has tested that type of weapon in recent years.

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‶They’ve done five tests in 10 years,″ said Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor and former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was invented, reported The New York Times. ‶You can learn a lot in that time.″

The two countries have been trading threats in recent days, with North Korean officials warning it will retaliate if the U.S. carries out a military strike against the country like the one done against Syria on April 7, when President Donald Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on air bases belonging to the Syrian government.

"I express again a strong support and alliance to the Syrian government and its people for its work of justice, condemning the United States’ recent violent invasive act against your country," North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"U.S. Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our allies in the Republic of Korea and in Japan to maintain security," Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement, according to NBC News.

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Speaking in the South Korean capital of Seoul as part of an Easter service, Pence praised the U.S. military service members stationed in the country.

"In these troubled times, in this part of the world, your courage and your valor still amazes the American people,″ Pence said, according to Sky News. "This is a challenging time, all over the world but especially here in the Asia-Pacific. The opportunity for me to be here today at such a time as this is a great ... a privilege for me. But let me assure you, under President Trump's leadership our resolve has never been stronger.″

He added: "Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger. And with your help, and with God's help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula."

Sources: CNN, Sky News, Reuters, NBC News, The New York Times / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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