North Korea attempted to launch a missile on Sunday near Sinpo, on its east coast, but it is believed to have failed, South Korea's military said.
North Korea's vice foreign minister says President Donald Trump's policy toward the country is more "vicious and aggressive" than President Barack Obama's. The United States, South Korea and other countries have vowed to apply more pressure on the North, but so far nothing has worked to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program. The letters on the top read "North Korea, Fire missile".
North Korean soldiers also exhibited large rockets covered by canisters which were rolled out in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs.
While Pence was aboard Air Force Two flying over the Bering Sea, a North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, representing a high-profile failure that came as a powerful U.S. aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula. North Korea is thought to have a small arsenal of atomic bombs and an impressive array of short- and medium-range missiles.
Pence will land in Seoul the day after North Korea's biggest national day, the "Day of the Sun".
The US and South Korean military officials are conducting further analysis of the launch at Sinpo on North Korea's eastern coastline.
The group brought ships that could shoot down missiles that North Korea has been testing. Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate Kim II Sung's birthday.
No planned response is expected from the Trump administration because the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's initial understanding of the launch, said there was no need for the U.S.to reinforce the failure.
Analysts warn that even failed missile launches provide valuable knowledge to North Korea as it tries to build its weapons program. Last year, Pyongyang carried out two nuclear tests and over two dozen of test launches using ballistic missile technology.
The official said that had it been a nuclear test, "other actions would have been taken by the U.S".
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil along the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threats to advance its growing nuclear and defense capabilities.
The failed launch from North Korea's east coast, ignoring admonitions from major ally China, came a day after North Korea held a military parade in its capital, marking the birth anniversary of the state founder, in which what appeared to be new long-range ballistic missiles were on display. He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the USA will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the latest test but had "no further comment". Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analysed.
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