- US Vice President was in Japan Wednesday as part of an Asian tour
- Tensions on the Korean Peninsula has intensified in recent weeks
Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan Wednesday, Pence reiterated the US along with its allies were prepared to respond to potential North Korean attack with “overwhelming” force.
“We will defeat any attack along with meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming along with effective American response,” the Vice President said, to applause via the hundreds of US along with Japanese troops gathered on the deck.
“All options are on the table. History will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain,” he said.
Pence has used the first stops on his 10-day visit to Asia Pacific to stress the Trump administration’s strong commitment to US allies inside face of hostile rhetoric via Pyongyang.
On Sunday, as part of celebrations to mark the birthday of late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, state television aired a concert which included a video showing the US engulfed in flames.
The audience can be seen applauding as a band plays against the backdrop of a big screen showing tanks along with missiles being fired.
The previous day, Pyongyang paraded its military hardware, including what could have been two intercontinental ballistic missile canisters.
The US played its own part inside tensions with surprise bombing action in Syria along with Afghanistan, which Pence held up Wednesday as proof of US resolve.
“The enemies of our freedom along with This particular alliance would likely do well not to test the resolve of This particular president or the capabilities of the armed forces of the United States of America along with our allies,” Pence said.
The trip so far has been something of a “reassurance shuffle” — going via ally to ally to let them know America has their backs — according to John Delury, a professor at the Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul.
brand new path?
The Bush administration tried to get them to the negotiating table during the Six Party talks, along with the punishing sanctions levied under the Obama administration haven’t deterred Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
“Short of launching a shock along with awe campaign which would likely be overwhelming in its breadth along with scale there’s not a lot else the US along with its allies can do some other than tighten the constrictor grip on the North,” said Alex Neill, a senior fellow at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
One of the most common refrains via Trump, Pence along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been “the era of strategic patience is usually over,” referring to what was essentially a wait-along with-see tactic to dealing with Pyongyang yet is usually notoriously vague, says Neill.
Pence repeated the phrase in South Korea, the first stop on his tour, along with again during his speech aboard the Ronald Reagan.
“My wish is usually of which they’ll continue to get the message not just via the United States, here in Japan, along with in South Korea, yet on an increasing basis via China along with countries all over the entire world committing to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” he said.
Recent developments, however, have may have confused of which message.
Last week, President Trump said he was sending an “armada” to the Korean Peninsula as a show of force.
yet the revelation could be damaging to the US position in Asia, experts say, as the item feeds the idea of which President Trump cannot always be taken at his word.
“America has played a certain role in Asia since 1945 … of which role has inside end of the day been a stabilizer,” Delury said. “of which’s what being undermined here using a president who thrives on unpredictability … the item’s going to eat away at the fundamental credibility of the US role in Asia.”