North Korean leader's desire for peace a deciding factor, says Donald Trump

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

The latest North Korean missile launch may have been of a new and hitherto unknown system being developed by Kim Jong Un's regime, a weapons expert said Monday.

Mattis credited China with trying to help get the North Korea situation "under control" with the goal of denuclearizing the peninsula.

It featured a senior official, Choe Ryong Hae, warning of "all-out war" if North Korea is attacked. "We are with you 100 per cent".

Mr Kim stressed that US-South Korean military exercises being staged were now the largest-ever "aggressive war drill" aimed at his country, formally the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Mr Pence made the unannounced visit at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia in a USA show of force that allowed the Vice President to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire.

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VP Pence confirmed that all options are on the table to deal with threat.

One called for "dual-track" talks on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula - the top priority of the United States - and replacing the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War with a formal peace treaty, a key demand of Pyongyang.

North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and it showed no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles in Pyongyang.

Trump has taken a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from sole major ally China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

In the latest of a series of warnings to Pyongyang that the U.S. will keep "everything on the table" to force it to give up its nuclear weapons programme, Mike Pence claimed North Korea was getting the message that it needed to walk away from "reckless activity".

"As the president says, it's time for them to behave, to listen to the world community and to set aside their nuclear ambitions, their ballistic missile ambitions, and be willing to join the family of nations".

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VP said that the era of United States "strategic patience" in dealing with the North was over, after more than two decades.

Pence noted that Washington's policy has changed towards the isolated state. Pyeongyang insists it needs strong arsenal including nuclear weapons to protect itself from the invasion of the antagonist U.S. forces.

"Whatever comes from the USA, we will cope with it".

Pence also said on Tuesday that all options were on the table in dealing with North Korea, but that President Donald Trump is determined to work with Japan, China and South Korea to find a peaceful solution.

Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a clarification on the suspension of flights as of Monday from Beijing to Pyeongyang. Yet North Korea has continued to paint the the aggressor.

"It's natural for Air China or other airlines to make such decisions".

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