Pence lands in South Korea after North's failed launch

"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face 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", said Pence. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

Trump has been leaning on China to put pressure on North Korea, but has also threatened to take on the country alone if necessary.

The White House expects South Korean officials to discuss responses during Pence's visit, and he also plans to meet troops and discuss possible military steps with Army General Vincent Brooks, the commander of United States Forces Korea.

Hours before Pence left, North Korea showed off its ICBMs in a military display at the annual parade in the capital that celebrates the birthday of the North's founding ruler, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un. Recently, North Korea has been trying to launch both some long-range ballistic missiles, as well as improved versions of some of their medium range arsenal, though repeatedly they've lost control and watched them slam into the ocean.

The U.S. Pacific Command said in a statement that Sunday's missile exploded on launch.

Kim has pointed to nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defense strategy and has openly sought a nuclear weapon that could strike the continental United States.

Always high animosity has risen on the Korean Peninsula in recent months, as the United States and South Korea conduct annual war games that North Korea claims are invasion preparation and the North prepared for Saturday's anniversary celebrations.

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, Reuters reported. A second USA official said the launch was land-based.

The remarks came with a show of military might, as an aircraft carrier head to waters off the Korean Peninsula.

It has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in pursuit of that goal.

Let's be honest, the latest news from North Korea doesn't sound too great.


Washington sees North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as a threat to world security and to its Asian allies, Japan and South Korea. The country launched a long-range rocket and conducted the two nuclear tests previous year, including its most powerful to date. It was the latest in a series of missile and nuclear tests North Korea has conducted in recent years.The vice president will be tasked with reassuring South Korea and Japan the USA will help prevent regional conflict by defending them in the face of North Korean aggression.While in South Korea, Pence will meet with Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and with local business leaders.

More directly on North Korea, the president returned to a theme of placing much onus on China for reining in the North.

Six-nation negotiations on dismantling North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for aid fell apart in early 2009.