Vice President Mike Pence early Monday warned North Korea not to test President Trump or the U.S. military.
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” the vice president said during a joint appearance with South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve — or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”
Pence’s comments come just days after a failed North Korean ballistic missile test. A U.S. official said the missile “blew up almost immediately” after its launch, adding that the type of missile is still being assessed.
One day before the test, North Korea held a military parade, showing off its largest missiles amid increased tensions in the region over its nuclear program.
During his appearance in South Korea, Pence also said previous administrations have practiced “strategic patience” in the region and vowed that the “era of strategic patience is over.”
“We also call on other regional powers and the entire international community to join us to confront North Korea and demand that it abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, to turn away from renewed hostility towards its neighbors and to end the repression of its own people,” Pence said.
The vice president said he and Trump have “great confidence China will properly deal with North Korea.”
“But as President Trump made clear just a few short days ago,” he said, “if China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States, and our allies, will.”