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US carrier heading toward Korean Peninsula

20 April 2017

As he stood aboard the aircraft carrier, Pence said President Donald J. Trump sent him to thank US and Japanese service members who have "stood up and stepped forward to protect our countries, our values and our very way of life".

Since Donald Trump took office, North Korea has launched at least eight ballistic missiles, and there is evidence that the North is preparing for a sixth nuclear test; however, there is no clear indication as to when the next test may occur.

The New York Times reported last month that President Donald Trump inherited a cyberwar on North Korea in the hope of sabotaging its missile tests. But Pence said forcefully responding to chemical attacks from President Bashar al-Assad's regime was the correct thing to do.

Mr Pence, whose father served in the 1950-53 Korean War, said the United States would stand by its "iron-clad alliance" with South Korea.

The vice president is on the second stop of a 10-day visit to the Asia-Pacific region after visiting South Korea, where he toured the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea.

"The days of broken promises and the days of running out the clock on agreements with the wider world are over", Pence said.

North Korea's aggressions have begun to rattle China, especially since the country threatened a nuclear strike against the United States. But his response went beyond offering a simple "no comment", as he made it very clear that the United States recognized that the launch failed, and failed nearly immediately. Pence would not confirm or deny to CNN whether the U.S. used cybercapabilities to thwart it.

"I really can't comment on the electronic or technological capabilities of our military", Pence told Bash.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has once again pledged the Trump administration's commitment to defending its allies in Asia from North Korea and any other threats.

Pence is halfway through his four-nation Asia trip, and concerns over North Korea have been dominant.

Military force against North Korea has always been a hard proposition.

Tensions between the two nations have been fraught throughout Trump's presidency of nearly three months.

China announced in February that it would stop accepting coal from North Korea - which accounted for a third of all official North Korean exports in 2015 - as it had already reached its import limit set by UN-imposed sanctions.

But the strike group was actually on its way to participate in military exercises in the Indian Ocean, some 3,500 miles in the opposite direction. Bloombergspoke to Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for weapons of mass destruction, proliferation and terrorism, about the situation.

"The point the President was making is that we're ready. And those who challenge our resolve for our readiness should know we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response".

US carrier heading toward Korean Peninsula