‘The Sword Stands Ready:’ Pence’s Four Words For North Korea

Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea that they should not test the resolve of the US military, making a promise that it would make an “overwhelming and effective” response to any aggressive move.

Aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, Pence said that President Trump and the administration would continue to work with allies like China and Japan and other power to apply diplomatic pressure on North Korea but – he told the assembled sailors: “Readiness is the key.”

What Did Pence Say: “The United States of America will always seek peace but under President Trump, the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready,” Pence told 2,500 sailors wearing blue fatigues and Naval baseball caps on a sunny, windy morning aboard the carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka naval base in Tokyo Bay, Fox News is reporting.

“Those who would challenge our resolve or readiness should know, we will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response,” Pence said.

Fox News: ‘The sword stands ready’: Pence warns North Korea
The Wall Street Journal: ‘Duped by Trump’: U.S. Taunted Over Carl Vinson Aircraft Carrier Tale
Fox Business: Trump on North Korea Threats: We Are Sending an Armada

What Else Happened? Pence’s comments came amid some controversy that President Trump’s promise that an “armada” was headed to North Korea turned out not to be true. The USS Carl Vinson was not moved toward North Korea, as Trump proclaimed. Instead it headed toward the Indian Ocean to take part in a joint military exercise with the Australian Navy.

What Did Leaders In The Region Think? In North Korea, the admission that the Carl Vinson was actually thousands of miles away on exercises off Australia’s coast and won’t arrive to the Korean Peninsula until next week prompted the state-run news service to say Washington “now bluffs that it was a ‘warning’ act” against the country.

In South Korea, presidential candidate Hong Joon-pyo, said it was inappropriate to judge before receiving final confirmation of the Carl Vinson’s whereabouts. But, in an interview, he said: “What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea. If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”

He also said that, in light of Mr. Trump’s recent military strikes on Syria and Afghanistan, “it seems to me that Trump is a person who takes responsibility and action based on what he says.”