US Vice President Mike Pence has made a dramatic statement while on the door step of North Korea, saying the "era of strategic patience is over".
Pence told reporters near the Demilitarised Zone separating North and South Korea the US has lost patience with the unwillingness of the North Korean regimen to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, according to news.com.au.
Pence said that President Donald Trump is hopeful China will use their "extraordinary levers" to pressure the North to abandon their weapons.
He says there was a "period of patience" over the years but "the era of strategic patience is over".
The Trump administration hopes the US and its allies will achieve its objectives through "peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary" to protect South Korea and stabilise the region.
He said the alliance between South Korea and the US is "iron-clad" and reiterated that "all options are on the table" to pressure North Korea to get rid of its nuclear weapons and missile program.
Pence is visiting the military base near the DMZ, Camp Bonifas, for a briefing with military leaders and to meet with American troops stationed there.
Our military is building and is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before. Frankly, we have no choice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017
BREAKING: VP Mike Pence says North Korea 'should not mistake the resolve' of the US to stand with its allies.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 17, 2017
His 10-day tour of Asia comes as tensions grow in the wake of North Korea's latest missile test.
Pence is warning in a visit to the Demilitarised Zone dividing North and South Korea that the North Korean people and military "should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies."
The joint US-South Korean military camp is just outside the 2.5-mile-wide DMZ.
Pence's visit, full of Cold War symbolism, comes amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula.
Pence has called North Korea's failed missile launch a "provocation," and President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that China is working with the US on the "North Korea problem."
Pence is telling American and South Korea service members that the North's latest "provocation," a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival in Seoul, has laid bare the risks they face.
While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the spectre of a potential escalated US response is trailing Pence as he undertakes a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric.
Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is citing Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government as a sign that the president "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions."