Vice President Pence said on Wednesday that President Trump‘s claim that he commands a “much bigger” nuclear arsenal than North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a clear signal to Pyongyang that the U.S. will not be “bullied.”
In an interview with Voice of America contributor Greta Van Susteren, Pence boasted that Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea has made clear the U.S. position on Pyongyang, and has provided leadership that has exerted real pressure on the country.
“President Trump made it clear: America will not be bullied, America will not be threatened, and that the United States of America has — and by being clear, managed to marshal an unprecedented amount of economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea,” Pence said.
Trump tweeted on Tuesday that his nuclear launch button was “much bigger” and “more powerful” than Kim’s. The North Korean leader announced in a New Year’s Day speech earlier this week that he had a launch button on the desk in his office.
In that address, Kim also said that the international community would have to accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, and that it possessed weapons capable of striking the mainland U.S.
Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, however, appeared to dismiss Kim’s assertion, again raising concerns of a confrontation with North Korea.
Pence said Wednesday that the president had pressured China to do more to rein in North Korea, and applauded Trump’s warning to Pyongyang.
“I truly do believe that making it clear that all options are on the table that — as the president has done, making it clear the United States of America has the capacity to defend our people far beyond anything North Korea could imagine; but also making it clear that if North Korea will abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions, if they will dismantle those programs, there’s an opportunity for a peaceable solution,” he said.
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