The Trump administration has articulated a tougher approach toward North Korea in recent days, saying it has lost patience with Pyongyang's intransigence in the face of long-standing demands to curb its nuclear ambitions.
"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," Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier in Japan. That followed his comments Tuesday in Tokyo declaring the U.S. will not rest until it achieves the goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. And at a stop in Seoul earlier, he said, "The era of strategic patience is over" — referring to the more muted Obama administration strategy.
Pence's visit to northeast Asia came as the president's national security adviser, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, told ABC News "all our options are on the table" in North Korea. However, McMaster expressed hope there would be no need for a military strike against the North.
In a pair of recent Twitter posts, President Donald Trump referred to the Pyongyang regime as a "menace" that is "looking for trouble." Taking a broad swipe at Obama's approach, he wrote, "The first 90 days of my presidency has exposed the total failure of the last eight years of foreign policy."