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Pence: ‘We believe China should do more’ on North Korea

Pence: ‘We believe China should do more’ on North Korea
© Greg Nash

Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceHillicon Valley: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Dems blast Trump for 'conflating' Chinese, Russian election interference claims A strong Kurdistan region is good for US in Iraq MORE said the administration thinks China should be doing more to combat North Korea’s aggression.

During a trip to Estonia on Sunday, Pence conducted an interview with Fox News and answered questions from pool reporters.

"We believe China should do more,” Pence said when asked about recent North Korean aggression. 

“The president has been clear about that in his conversations with President Xi [Jinping] that while China has taken unprecedented steps to begin to isolate North Korea economically and to bring diplomatic pressure, we believe China has a unique relationship with the regime in North Korea and has a unique ability to influence decisions by that regime and we call on China to use that influence along with other nations in the region to encourage North Korea to join the family of nations, to embrace a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and abandon its provocative actions and its ballistic missile program," he said.

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Pence’s comments come the same day United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said she is “done” discussing North Korea and that any solution to its aggression must be a joint effort with regional partners.

“Done talking about NKorea.China is aware they must act.Japan & SKorea must inc pressure.Not only a US problem.It will req an intl solution,” Haley wrote on Twitter Sunday.

The Trump administration has urged China to place pressure on North Korea over its nuclear ambitions, as Pyongyang has conducted multiple missile tests in 2017.

Trump most recently said he is "very disappointed in China" for doing "nothing" about North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"China could easily solve this problem," Trump said on Friday.

Pence told the pool on Sunday during the interview that North Korea's aggression is "unacceptable" and that "the era of strategic patience is over."

“The continued provocations by the rogue regime in North Korea are unacceptable and the United States of America is going to continue to marshal the support of nations across the region and across the world to further isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically. But the era of strategic patience is over,” Pence said.

“The president of the United States is leading a coalition of nations to bring pressure to bear until that time that North Korea will permanently abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile program.”

The U.S. military on Friday confirmed that it had detected a ballistic missile launch from North Korea.