US Vice-President Mike Pence has declared that his country’s “era of strategic patience” with North Korea is over.
Mr Pence made the remarks at the demilitarised zone (DMZ), the area dividing the two Koreas, during a visit to South Korea to reaffirm ties.
“The era of strategic patience is over, ”Pence said. “President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out and we want to see change.”
“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.”
The VP landed via helicopter at Camp Bonifas, about a mile from the southern boundary of the zone.
He received a security briefing from Gen. Vincent Brooks, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, and then visited the Freedom House observation post in the Korean DMZ.
Early today, the US and South Korea launched a joint air force military exercise to ensure readiness against North Korea, according to South Korean media.
Mr Pence, whose father served in the Korean War, visited the truce village of Panmunjom, where the war’s armistice was signed.
Speaking to reporters in Camp Bonifas, Pence praised the “unshakeable bond” between the U.S. and Korean people.
“My father served in the Korean War with the U.S. Army, and on the way here, we actually saw some of the terrain my father fought alongside Korean forces to help earn your freedom,” Pence said.
“It’s a great honor to be with all of our forces.”
The US vice-president further expressed disappointment that China had taken retaliatory actions against South Korea in response to the move.