Vice President Mike Pence said "all options are on the table" as North Korea continues to develop its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs, during a speech Wednesday aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. And he also reaffirmed his country's alliance with South Korea.
A Foreign Office spokesman told the Standard: "The projects we carry out in North Korea are part of our policy of critical engagement, and are used to promote British values and demonstrate to the North Korean people that engaging with the United Kingdom and the outside world is an opportunity rather than a threat".
The DPRK's state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a Foreign Ministry official as saying, "We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the U.S. reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force".
The US has adopted a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea.
Pence said on Monday the world had seen Trump's resolve in the past two weeks, with a U.S. missile attack on a Syrian airfield and the dropping of a powerful non-nuclear bomb on Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan.
Donald Trump said North Korea has "gotta behave" as tensions between the two countries have become increasingly strained.
"You read Clinton's book, and he said 'Oh, we made such a great peace deal.' And it was a joke", Trump said.
His national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the US would rely on its allies as well as Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea. The shipments may have been refused simply because China didn't need them.
Sin also said six-nation talks aiming to make the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons were "throttled at birth". They agree it's their first choice.
Pence's economic discussions in Tokyo will be closely watched to see how hard a line Washington is prepared to take on trade.
"There is both greater unpredictability and decisiveness from President Trump", said Victor Cha, the director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University and a former adviser to President George W. Bush.
Australia's prime minister also urged China to do more, saying Beijing has the "greatest obligation and responsibility" to de-escalate the threat from North Korea. Since the North Korean ships were turned away, analysts have noted China is not using almost as much coal as it did for a few years.
We saw over the weekend North Korea putting its missiles on parade while celebrating the birthday of its founder Kim Il-sung, only to see a test launch of missile fail in spectacular fashion later on.
Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China opposed words or actions that could further raise tension. "China's stance on this is unswerving", Lu said. Pressure on North Korea is crucial, the prime minister said.
Pence's Japanese hosts will be cautious about any us military action that could trigger a broader regional conflict.
In the comments to Fox News, Trump cited the strength of his newfound relationship with President Xi Jinping in explaining why he has dropped his past criticism of China.
Russian state media, which hailed his election win, have made a U-turn.