03:33 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Washington's Pressure Over China, N Korea 'Means US Wants to Return to Far East'

    © AFP 2019 / NICOLAS ASFOURI
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    United States Vice President Mike Pence’s remark that "peace comes through strength" means that the conflict between Washington and Pyongyang risks entering the military stage, according to political analyst Vladimir Shapovalov.

    During his visit to Tokyo, Pence met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The parties discussed the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula. The US Vice President noted that both Washington and Tokyo wants a peaceful solution to the crisis, but "peace comes through strength."

    He added that the US wants to cooperate with Japan, South Korea and China on the situation.

    "While all options are on the table, President Trump is determined to work closely with Japan, with South Korea, with all our allies in the region, and with China" to resolve the crisis, Pence said.

    "We seek peace always as a country, as does Japan, but as you know and the United States knows, peace comes through strength and we will stand strongly with Japan and strongly with our allies for a peace and security in this region," he added.

    Pence’s trip to Asia came at the height of the most serious crisis involving North Korea in recent years. The US has directed the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson-led strike group toward the Korean Peninsula.

    Vladimir Shapovalov, deputy director of the Center for Historical and Political Studies at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, said that the current show of force by Washington is very dangerous.

    "What is also important, this demonstration is directed not only at Pyongyang, but rather at the Chinese leadership. All statements and threats against North Korea should be interpreted as military and political pressure over China. In fact, the US wants to come back to the Far East," Shapovalov told Radio Sputnik.

    According to the expert, in recent years, Washington’s positions in the region have significantly weakened, both in military and economic terms.

    "This happened amid a dramatic increase in China’s role. The recent show of force is an attempt by Washington to regain ground in the region," he added.

    Shapovalov suggested that there is the possibility of a US strike on North Korea.

    "Of course, the crisis may enter the military stage. The examples of Syria [the missile strike on a Syrian airfield] and Afghanistan [the use of a MOAB bomb] prove that this US presidential administration is ready to use force. The possibility of a strike against Pyongyang exists despite the fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons," the expert concluded.

    On Friday, an official of the North Korean embassy in Moscow said that Pyongyang is ready for an all-out war if the United States starts it.

    Tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches conducted in violation of the UN Security Council's resolutions.

    North Korea reportedly carried out the most recent missile test early on Sunday. However, the launch was unsuccessful, according to South Korean defense officials. The North Korean Foreign Ministry said that the alleged missile launch had not been announced officially, though it's Pyongyang's "sovereign right" to conduct such tests.

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    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Far East, China, United States
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