Visiting United States Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that "an era of strategic patience is over" on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Pence made the remarks during a joint press conference with South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn who is serving as acting president. They held talks in Seoul before the televised press conference.
Since 1992, Pence said, the United States and South Korea made joint efforts to achieve the denuclearized Korean Peninsula through peaceful means.
The U.S. vice president, however, said "all options are on the table" though the U.S. wants peaceful means for the denuclearization of the peninsula.
Citing two nuclear tests and multiple ballistic missile test-launches the DPRK conducted in the past 18 months, he said the era of strategic patience is over.
The strategic patience refers to a U.S. policy on the DPRK advocated by the previous Obama administration.
Pyongyang carried out its fourth and fifth nuclear detonations in January and September last year respectively. After the January atomic bomb test, the country launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit.
The rocket launch is seen by South Korea and the U.S. as a disguised test of a banned ballistic missile technology. The DPRK is banned from testing such technology under UN Security Council resolutions.
Shortly before Pence’s arrival in South Korea, the DPRK test-launched an unidentified missile from its east coast. It exploded seconds after the launch, which was assessed by the South Korean military as a failed test.