US VP Pence warns North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

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"USA officials have said that all options are on the table in an apparent reference to military strikes, while North Korean officials have also rattled their sabres and warned the United States of a devastating first strike".

Donald Trump has said how much North Korea's leader desires peace will be a deciding factor in easing tensions between his nation and the United States.

North Korea said in February that it had successfully tested a new type of medium-to-long-range ballistic missile, the Pukguksong-2, propelled by a solid-fuel engine.

"They don't produce enough food to feed themselves".

Earlier this month, China's General Administration of Customs said that the country's trade with North Korea grew 37.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready", Pence told 2,500 sailors wearing blue fatigues and Naval baseball caps on a sunny, windy morning aboard the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay. The UN Security Council failed to adopt a statement condemning the missile test conducted by North Korea on April 15 because of disagreements between Russian Federation and the United States.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un observes a target-striking contest by the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this undated photo, released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), April 13, 2017.

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Pence's comments come after a senior North Korean official warned the regime had no intention of dialling down its missile programme, pledging weekly tests and threatening "all-out war" if the USA took any action against it.

China has urged the parties involved in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue to exercise restraint and avoid any actions that could increase tensions.

Hwang told a meeting of ministers, "The North failed in its attempted missile launch on Sunday, but there are worries that it will carry out a provocation on the founding anniversary of its Army on April 25 given its recent behavior and statements". The day before, it became known that the Pentagon intends to test its own missile defence systems to see their ability to shoot down North Korean missiles.

In an exclusive interview with Fox & Friends that aired on Tuesday, President Trump revealed he may not be sure who now rules North Korea.

Trump last week had said that he had sent an "armada" to the Korean peninsula.

China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

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