Countdown to conflict: Mike Pence says "the era of strategic patience is over" as administration beats drum for war

Pence makes a visit to the DMZ, while Russia and China trail an American aircraft carrier in the region

Published April 17, 2017 11:29AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)
(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

While most Americans are not confident in President Donald Trump's ability to deal with the North Korean crisis, both the administration's rhetoric and the responses of North Korea and its allies are causing things to heat up in the region.

During an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone — a 2.5-mile-wide stretch of land filled with landmines that stretches across the border of North and South Korea — Vice President Mike Pence declared that, in light of North Korea's continued attempts at testing a nuclear missile, "the era of strategic patience is over."

Pence's comment was most likely a reference to the policy of bilaterial U.S.-North Korean relations articulated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during President Barack Obama's administration. At that time, Clinton famously declared that the administration would handle North Korea with "strategic patience in close consultations with our six party allies."

Similarly, national security adviser H. R. McMaster told ABC's "This Week" that "the consensus with the president, our key allies in the regions – Japan and South Korea in particular, but also the Chinese leadership – is that this problem is coming to a head. It’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully."

In what is most likely a response to America's new policy toward North Korea, China and Russia have sent out intelligence-gathering vessels to trail the USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that America dispatched to the waters outside the Korean Peninsula. It is currently believed to be in the vicinity of the East China Sea.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

China Donald Trump Mike Pence North Korea Russia