Pence promotes Trump's economic plans in Japan

"The enemies of our freedom and this alliance would do well not to test the resolve of this president or the capabilities of the armed forces of the United States of America and our allies", Pence said.

Pence made a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea Monday where he declared the "era of strategic patience" with North Korea to be over.

But economic policy advisers traveling with Pence reportedly said the trip is also aimed at reassuring Washington's allies that the current administration wants to boost trade in the Asia Pacific region particularly after the USA withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Mr Pence said: "We will not rest and will not relent until we obtain the objective of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is wrapping up his visit to Japan with a stop at a youth baseball and softball event outside Tokyo.

Pyongyang has been a main focus of his visit and public speeches so far, during which he's stuck fast to the United States message that the "era of strategic patience is over".

"The days of broken promises and the days of running out the clock on agreements with the wider world are over", he said.

Tensions flared recently ahead of a key North Korean holiday and amid analysts' assessments that the country's sixth nuclear test could be in the works.

The nuclear test is yet to happen, but Pyongyang tested a missile Sunday which ended in failure. Pence would not confirm or deny to CNN whether the USA used cybercapabilities to thwart it.

"I really can't comment on the electronic and technical capabilities of our military, but we certainly would recognize that that was a failed missile test, it failed nearly immediately", he said.

The New York Times reported last month that President Donald Trump inherited a cyberwar on North Korea in the hope of sabotaging its missile tests.

US Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the US commitment to Asia Pacific with a stern warning for North Korea, which he called the "most unsafe and urgent threat" to the region. But the vice president expressed impatience with the unwillingness of North Korea to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Pence cited China's decision to return coal imports from North Korea as an example showing USA strategy is bearing fruit.

Pence is speaking in Tokyo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters he hopes "there will be no unilateral actions like those we saw recently in Syria and that the USA will follow the line that President Trump repeatedly voiced during the election campaign".

But the strike group was actually on its way to participate in military exercises in the Indian Ocean, some 3,500 miles in the opposite direction. A senior official at the White House blamed the error on miscommunication.

"The point the President was making is that we're ready".

"Short of launching a shock and awe campaign which would be overwhelming in its breadth and scale there's not a lot else the USA and its allies can do other than tighten the constrictor grip on the North", said Alex Neill, a senior fellow at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

  • Elsie Buchanan