Korea high on agenda for Pence visit
The Asia-Pacific will be more secure with US President Donald Trump in the White House despite the region living in “troubled times” with the North Korean regime, his spokesperson Sean Spicer says.
Trump told CNN on Monday that North Korea has “gotta behave” and US Vice President Mike Pence, in South Korea on a 10-day trip to the region including Australia, issued stern words for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his pursuit of nuclear and missile programs.
Pence said the US would “abandon the failed policy of strategic patience” with North Korea but would redouble efforts to bring diplomatic and economic pressure to peacefully decrease tensions.
“The vice president is delivering a message to the people of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the president that even in these troubled times the US stands with them for a free and secure future,” Spicer told reporters at Monday’s White House briefing.
“Under President Trump, our iron-clad alliance will be even stronger, our nations will be safer and the Asia-Pacific region will be more secure.”
Spicer said China, after Mr Trump’s recent meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the president’s Florida Mar-a-Lago estate, has been applying pressure including reducing the quantity of coal it accepts from North Korea.
“The results of that are paying off,” Spicer said.
“I think you see China playing a much more active role with respect to North Korea both politically and economically.”
When a reporter pointed out that North Korea, in the face of China’s pressure, attempted to fire a missile on the weekend Spicer said: “I understand that and it (the missile) failed”.
Pence is scheduled to arrive in Sydney on Saturday.