Vice President Mike Pence gave North Korea a clear warning on Wednesday that the United States would not hesitate to use military force if they continue to recklessly test their nuclear missiles.
“The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” Pence fittingly said while aboard the USS Ronald Reagan Wednesday.
“Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response,” he told the 2,500 sailors.
The vice president said the U.S. would honor its alliance with Pacific Rim nations and protect freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the sea lanes vital to global shipping where China has been staking claim to disputed territory.From two continents, Pence and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that North Korea’s latest failed missile launch was a reckless act of provocation and assured allies in Asia that the U.S. was ready to work to achieve a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Mattis denounced North Korea’s attempted missile launch as he began a Middle East tour, telling reporters traveling with him to Saudi Arabia, “the leader of North Korea again recklessly tried to provoke something by launching a missile,” he said. The term “reckless” is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale U.S. and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.
Pence’s warning was stern and didn’t lack credibility. In the last three weeks alone, president Trump has carried out two major foreign policy strikes.
Pence’s warning was also in response to North Korea vowing to launch their missile tests “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,” promising “all-out war” if the U.S. took any action against their regime.
Pence stated that “all options are on the table” and that “history will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain.”
The full video is below, but the specific remarks detailed above can be seen around the 42:50 mark.