US tells North Korea: We don't want a fight, don't start one

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War South Korea Monday

This change in message, if translated into a firm policy of not negotiating with North Korea, could have huge implications.

As NBC News's Bradd Jaffy pointed out, Trump seems to be implying that all these administrations have dealt with the same leader.

Asked about possible talks with the North, she said, "I think there is a feeling that the time - the conditions are not really ripe for any kind of talks until North Korea shows that it is serious about what would be accomplished by undertaking such talks".

In 1994, the North Korean government agreed to shut down its nuclear development program.

"And the approach President Trump has taken is not engagement with North Korea but renewed and more vigorous engagement with North Korea's principle economic partner [China]".

North Korea's deputy United Nations ambassador has accused the United States of turning the Korean Peninsula into "the world's biggest hotspot" and creating "a risky situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment".

"When the president says all options are on the table, all options are on the table", said Pence.

"China is unswerving in its commitment to realising the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, maintaining the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula, and continue to solve matters through dialogue and negotiations".

Whether Pence's hardened message will persist as USA policy in the long run remains to be seen.

At the outset of their meeting, Pence reiterated to Abe his statement in South Korea that the United States has run out of patience with Pyongyang's moves. In fact, there are some similarities. There are also doubts about the leverage China has on North Korea. While Obama's strategic patience doctrine often receives bipartisan criticism, Lavrov questioned the accuracy of the label given previous US led sanctions against the DPRK.

After Xi's return to China, Trump continued to pressure him.

North Korea-US tension is growing. They also say greater Chinese cooperation is vital.

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.

After meetings with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders, Mr Pence told reporters that President Donald Trump was confident that economic and diplomatic pressure has a chance of compelling North Korea to cooperate.

Trump, in Washington, and Pence at the tense Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea earlier, have signaled a forceful USA stance on North Korea's recent actions and threats.

Pence's visit, full of Cold War symbolism, came amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula.

A militarily strong South Korea and Japan could do what they should have been doing since the end of World War II and the Korean Wars, respectively - provide for their own defense.

"I thought it was important that we went outside", Pence said.

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