South Korea: North Korea missile test ends in failure

North Korea North Korea army US provocation United States President Donald Trump US President Donald Trump US President US president Trump

"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world", Pence told US military families at an Easter dinner. "The President and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch".

The missile failure also came hours ahead of a visit by US Vice President Mike Pence to South Korea where the North's weapons programme will top the agenda.

Choe Ryong Hae, widely regarded as the secretive state's number two leading official, accused US President Donald Trump of "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by sending American forces to the region. "And our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people", he said. The administration's immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing.

The attempted missile launch comes a day after the North held a military parade in its capital marking the birth anniversary of the state founder where what appeared to be new ballistic missiles were displayed. "If they are unable to do so, the USA, with its allies, will!" he tweeted Thursday.

That test also failed.

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"We stand alongside our global partners in making clear that North Korea must adhere to United Nations resolutions created to secure peace and stability in the region and stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons", he said.

While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated US response is trailing Pence as he undertakes a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric.

Its eventual goal is a long-range nuclear missile that can strike the continental United States.

But a White House foreign policy adviser travelling with Pence played down Sunday's test, saying the missile - probably a medium-range one - failed after about four to five seconds.

The reported failed test comes at a time of year when North Korea has previously tried to launch missiles.

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Pence, addressing an Easter service with American troops in South Korea, said the USA commitment to South Korea was unwavering.

More directly on North Korea, the president returned to a theme of placing much onus on China for reining in the North. This matters because while North Korea regularly launches short-range missiles, it is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland. China's customs department issued an order on April 7 telling traders to return North Korean coal cargoes, said trading sources with knowledge of the order.

"Let me assure you that under President Trump's leadership our resolve has never been stronger, our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger and with your help and God's help freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula", he said.

Tension had escalated sharply in the region amid concerns that the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile test launch timed with the April 15 anniversary it calls the "Day of the Sun".

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Lavrov says Russian Federation has lots of questions about the "very ambiguous" and "contradictory" ideas coming from the U.S. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted USA claims that it has "irrefutable evidence" of election interference.

"North Korea is a liability to everybody and it's a threat not just to the United States, not just to South Korea, not just to Japan, not just to Russian Federation, but it's actually a threat to China as well", McFarland said Sunday on "Fox News Sunday".

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