Following a weekend of nuclear-themed activity and provocation by the North Koreans — which included a failed missile test — Vice President Mike Pence has visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). In doing so, he told the country that it would be a great idea if they chilled out on the nuclear testing in order “not to test his (President Trump’s) resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.”
North Korea was quick to respond to the United States’ stern warning while issuing a warning of their own. North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC on Monday that not only is his country not about to back down to the United States, it’s readying for a full-out war. In preparation for the fight, Han Song-Ryol said the North Koreans will ramp up their missile testing program, not ratchet it down, BBC reports:
“We’ll be conducting more missile tests on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis,”
Pence’s trip to the demilitarized South Korea-North Korea border comes after an increased level of testing by North Korea, which was keen to flaunt their nuclear prowess in a parade that honored Kim Jung-Un’s grandfather. While some believe the new weaponry trotted out by the North Koreans during the event may be at least somewhat exaggerated, military analysts believe the country’s weapons could include intercontinental ballistic missiles. Further, the parade has been seen as a warning and show of defiance to the U.S. and its allies.