TOKYO — Vice President Pence warned North Korea Monday that it could be in for the same treatment as Syria and Afghanistan — both of which the Trump administration has bombed this month — if it continues with its nuclear program.
The stark warning, delivered in Seoul after the vice president went to the military demarcation that separates the two Koreas, could revive speculation that the White House is considering military action against the regime in Pyongyang.
Pence said that the Trump administration wanted to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons “through peaceful means” but repeated the administration’s warning that “all options are on the table.”
Pence arrived in South Korea just hours after North Korea launched its latest ballistic missile — which exploded within a few seconds — and amid a weekend of fanfare in North Korea, during which the regime showed off what appeared to be new missiles designed to reach the United States.
There, during a trip to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and later in remarks to journalists, he issued strong warnings to Pyongyang.
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” the vice president said after delivering a statement to the media alongside Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting president. Neither took questions.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” Pence said.