Vice President Mike Pence said that while the Trump administration is looking for a “peaceful resolution” to the North Korean crisis, the United States has many “options” to handle the ongoing threats posed by the regime.
“What the secretaries have made clear, what the president has made clear, is we have military options but we earnestly desire a peaceable outcome that achieves what the Chinese foreign minister and I talked about yesterday. The entire world has one goal, and that is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, we want to achieve that peaceably, but all options are on the table,” said Pence.
Pence also responded to criticism posed by former White House adviser Steve Bannon, who said in an interview that “there’s no military solution” to North Korea, calling out that assessment as inaccurate.
“There was some talk two or three weeks ago, some commentators, that the most powerful military on Earth doesn’t have the ability to take action to defend our people, that’s wrong,” said Pence.
He added, “The president desires a peaceful resolution of this confrontation with North Korea and we’ll continue to pursue that, but it all begins when the Kim regime announces their willingness to abandon their nuclear and ballistic missiles program and not before.”
He said that North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons was “simply unacceptable,” backing up Mr. Trump’s stern warnings at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that the U.S. could “destroy” North Korea if threatened.
“The president has wanted to make it clear and he’s made it clear that in the event that North Korea takes action that threatens the United States or our allies, that our response will be overwhelming and effective,” Pence said.
The vice president said that he and the president will meet with their counterparts in South Korea and China at the U.N. on Thursday, to discuss possible avenues to “further isolate” the regime.
Meanwhile, as President Trump has signaled he is prepared to decertify the Iean nuclear deal, Pence said the president would indicate that decision “at his time at his choosing.”
“I think President Trump made his view of the Iran deal very clear before United Nations General Assembly, he considers it nothing short of an embarrassment,” said Pence. “The simple truth is that transferring $1.7 billion in cash to the leading state sponsor of terrorism was a terrible idea. There is technical compliance and then there’s the spirit of the agreement.”
While Pence reiterated the president’s “deep concern” for the agreement and that he would make his opinion known at the right time, he said “at the end of the day we have to come together as a world community and demand that these rogue regimes including Iran stop the destabilizing efforts, stop supporting the terrorist activities and the president is simply determined to do that.”