WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) — The Trump administration made it clear Monday that North Korea is a top foreign policy priority.
During his daily White House briefing Monday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump will not be drawing any red lines when it comes to North Korea.
“Drawing red lines hasn’t really worked in the past,” Spicer said. “He holds his cards close to the vest and you’re not going to see him telegraphing how he’s going to respond to any military or other situation going forward that’s just something he believes has not served us well in the past.”
The U.S. is demanding North Korea and its dictator Kim Jong Un end its nuclear weapons program and stop launching ballistic missiles.
Vice President Mike Pence on Monday visited the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea – on a line that has been called one of the most dangerous places on earth. While there, Pence delivered a stern warning to the north.
“The era of strategic patience is over. President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out,” Pence said.
The vice president says the U.S. wants to achieve this through peaceful means, but more than hinted the U.S. will take action if needed.
“I think that the action that he took in Syria shows that when appropriate this president will take decisive action,” Spicer said.
On the diplomatic front, the White House is looking to China, North Korea’s primary trading partner, to turn up pressure on the north.
“Either China will deal with this problem or the U.S. and our allies will,” Pence said.
“Both politically and economically they can continue to apply pressure to achieve results,” Spicer said. “We’re going to continue to urge China to exhibit its influence in the region to get better results.”
North Korea says it will not be intimated.
President Trump’s deputy national security adviser would not say if the U.S. had sabotaged North Korea’s attempted missile launch this weekend.
Asked by a reported if he has any message for North Korea at Sunday’s White House Easter Egg Roll, the president responded in plain terms.
“Gotta behave,” he said.
Back in 2014 then-President Barack Obama ordered increased cyber and electronic strikes against the North’s missile program.