|US Vice President Mike Pence|
SEOUL, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting United States Vice President Mike Pence and South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn agreed Monday to strengthen alliance of the two countries and take punitive actions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Pence and Hwang, who is serving as the acting South Korean president, held talks in Seoul before having a televised joint press conference.
The U.S. vice president arrived in South Korea Sunday as part of a 10-day trip to Asia. Earlier in the day, Pence visited a U.S. base near the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas. He will leave for Japan on Tuesday.
Pence told reporters that the United States and South Korea have, since 1992, made joint efforts to achieve the denuclearized Korean Peninsula through peaceful means.
The U.S. vice president, however, said "all options are on the table" though the U.S. wants peaceful means for the denuclearization of the peninsula.
Citing two nuclear tests and multiple ballistic missile test-launches the DPRK conducted in the past 18 months, he said the "era of strategic patience is over" on the DPRK.
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