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Pence announces ‘toughest’ US sanctions against North Korea

(Web Desk) US Vice President Mike Pence has said Washington will soon unveil its “toughest sanctions ever”   on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

“I’m announcing today that the United States will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever,” Pence said Wednesday during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

“All options are on the table and the US has deployed some of our most advanced military assets to Japan and the wider region to protect our homeland and our allies and we will continue to,” he added.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has taken a more conciliatory tone in the past month, calling for detente with South Korea and has accepted an invitation for his country to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, which is billed as the “peace Olympics.”

During the press conference, Abe saidthat other countries should not to be “captivated by the charm offensive of North Korea.”

Pence also pointed to North Korea’s Olympics politics and said: “We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games.”

Tensions are running high between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.

The Trump administration claims it prefers a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but it also says that all options are on the table, including military ones.

Washington insists that any future talks should be aimed at North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, something Pyongyang rejects.

In late November, Pyongyang successfully test-launched what American military experts called a Hwasong-15 ICBM, the largest North Korean missile tested to date with a presumably long-enough range to deliver nuclear warheads deep into the US mainland.

The US and its allies in the West and in Asia engineered tough UN sanctions on North Korea last year when Pyongyang test-fired two missiles in July and then carried out its most powerful nuclear test in August.

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