Vice President Mike Pence, wrapping a trip to the Demilitarized Zone — the slim section of neutral territory separating North Korea and South Korea — warned the Kim Jong Un regime to not test President Donald Trump.
In not-so-thinly-veiled language, Pence suggested Trump would use the American military to control North Korea.
“All options are on the table,” Pence said, in widely reported remarks.
The rhetoric came after North Korea tried a missile launch on Sunday, but failed.
The White House considered the attempt an act of aggression, though.
And Pence warned: This is not the Barack Obama administration, all-diplomacy, all-the-time, any longer.
“Just in the past two weeks we witnessed the strength of resolve of our new leader. North Korea would do well not to test his resolve,” Pence added in apparent reference to U.S. missile strikes on Syria following a gas attack in that country, as well as the decision to drop a huge bomb on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan.
“Pence added that the U.S. and its allies will achieve their objectives through ‘peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary to protect South Korea and stabilize the region.’
“He reiterated the U.S. commitment to South Korea, whose population sits in the shadow of its bellicose neighbor and could face catastrophe if the North were to lash out.
“‘On behalf of President Trump, my message to South Korea is this — we are with you 100 percent,’ he said, adding the “era of strategic patience is over.”
“Trump has already suggested that he will take a tougher stance against North Korea than his predecessor Barack Obama, and Washington has deployed a Navy aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula.
“Earlier, Pence made an unannounced visit to the perilous Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, which he called the ‘frontier of freedom.’”