Pence to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'

Pence to North Korea: 'The sword stands ready'
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Wednesday said the U.S. would have an "overwhelming and effective" response should North Korea test its resolve.

"The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready," Pence said aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, according to The Associated Press.

"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."

ADVERTISEMENT
During an interview on CNN the same day, Pence said he doesn't see a direct negotiation between North Korea and the U.S. "at this time."
 
"The policy that President Trump has articulated is to marshal the support of our allies in the region, here in Japan and South Korea, nations around the world, and China, who have taken the position now for decades of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula," Pence said.
 
The comments come after the vice president earlier this week warned North Korea not to test Trump or the U.S. military.

"Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan," the vice president said during a joint appearance with South Korea's acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn. 

"North Korea would do well not to test his resolve — or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region."
 
During his appearance in South Korea, Pence also said previous administrations have practiced "strategic patience" in the region and vowed that the "era of strategic patience is over."
 
Trump on Tuesday said "you always have to be concerned" about nuclear war when dealing with North Korea.

“Now I’m put in a position where he actually has nuclear, and we’re going to have to do something about it,” Trump added. “It’s a very, very tricky situation. Hopefully he wants peace and we want peace and that’s going to be the end determination, but we’re going to see what happens.”