But a missile test-launched on Sunday exploded shortly after takeoff, and a widely anticipated sixth nuclear test never materialized. You read (Bill) Clinton's book and he said "Oh, we made such a great peace deal" and it was a joke. The term "reckless" is one the North Koreans have used to describe ongoing large-scale USA and South Korean military exercises, which the North calls a dress rehearsal for an invasion.
"But the era of strategic patience is over", Pence said.
Sin Hong-chol, North Korea's deputy foreign minister, told Aljazeera in an exclusive interview on Monday that Donald Trump's administration "should look at the world with open eyes".
The Russian diplomat also took a hard line on the previous USA administration's North Korea policies.
"The prevailing grave situation proves once again that the DPRK was entirely just when it increased in every way its military capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attack with a nuclear force as a pivot", he said.
"If the figure of speech used by the U.S. Vice President can be understood as a threat of a unilateral military solution, it is a highly risky path", Lavrov said according to a release from the Moscow's Foreign Ministry.
North Korea's vice-foreign minister Han Song-Ryol told the BBC missiles would be tested on "a weekly, monthly and yearly basis".
But, mindful that this would likely trigger massive retaliation and casualties in South Korea and Japan, US officials say the administration's main focus is on tougher economic sanctions.
Trump said last week it had been sent to waters near the Korean peninsula as a warning to North Korea, but which headed towards Australia instead.
"The truth seems to be that the U.S. military and president jointly created fake news and it is without doubt a rare scandal in USA history, which will be bound to cripple Trump's and United States dignity", it said.
Pence said the USA and Japan will work with China and continue exerting diplomatic pressure until North Korea ends its nuclear and missile programs.
China remains North Korea's chief source of fuel and food imports, but Pyongyang seems to have calculated that Beijing's fears of a collapse of Kim Jong Un's hard-line communist regime override any such snubs. Of course they have said all the choices are on the table.
The remark coincided with reports that China's attempts to get North Korea to even meet its nuclear envoy have been ignored.
Speaking aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft-carrier at its home port of Yokosuka, Japan, Pence said the USA remained unwavering in the face of the threat posed by the North, which has conducted a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations sanctions. While Obama's strategic patience doctrine often receives bipartisan criticism, Lavrov questioned the accuracy of the label given previous US led sanctions against the DPRK.