‘Once and for all’ Mike Pence mounts pressure on North Korea to end its nuclear programme

The Vice President announced the US will continue to increase economic and diplomatic pressure until the rogue state “abandoned its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all”.

Mr Pence said: “Under this administration, the United States will continue to work diligently with our allies across the region and China and the wider world to bring increased economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea.

“And we will do so until North Korea abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all.”

The Republican made the commitment as he urged US allies to unite against North Korea’s nuclear programme on Thursday.

The speech came amid calls for tougher sanctions on North Korea following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been imprisoned by Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Mr Warmbier was returned to the United States last week with brain damage, in what doctors described as a state of “unresponsive wakefulness” and he died on Monday.

Mr Pence added: “As the President said just a few days ago, North Korea’s treatment of Otto Warmbier was a disgrace. And I can assure you it only deepens our determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people in the days ahead.

North Korea has accused the US of carrying out a “smear campaign” following the death of Otto Warmbier.

Kim Jong-un’s government has rejected claims that the student was tortured during his time in captivity in North Korea.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “We hold North Korea accountable for Otto Warmbier’s unjust imprisonment, and demand the release of three other Americans who have been illegally detained.”

US President Donald Trump also hit out at North Korea, claiming “a lot of bad things happened” to Mr Warmbier during his captivity in the country.

The head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency told Congress last month that North Korea, if left unchecked, was on an “inevitable” path to obtaining a nuclear-armed missile capable of striking America’s mainland.

Daily Express :: World Feed

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