Pence to visit Korean Demilitarized Zone

North Korea's failed missile launch Saturday fits into the country's "pattern of provocative behavior", but there is an worldwide consensus now, including with the leadership of China, that such actions can't continue, National Security Adviser H.R. McFarland said Sunday.

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

Kim's regime has test-fired ballistic missiles five times this year in his quest to develop a device that can carry a nuclear warhead to the continental U.S. He's launched dozens of projectiles and conducted three nuclear tests since coming to power after his father's death in 2011, and claimed in January to be nearly ready to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

An attempted missile launch by North Korea on Sunday failed, United States and South Korean defense officials told CNN. "Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires the nation and inspires the world".

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited the demilitarised border between North and South Korea on Monday and reiterated that the U.S. "era of strategic patience" with Pyongyang was over.

This is Pence's first visit to South Korea - part of an Asia swing that also includes stops in Japan, Indonesia and Australia - and although it was conceived months ago, could hardly come at a time of higher tension.

"Japan will closely cooperate with the USA and South Korea over North Korea and will call for China to take a bigger role", Abe told parliament.

A North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said. The high-profile failure came as the North tried to showcase its nuclear and missile capabilities around the birth anniversary of the North's late founder and as a USA aircraft carrier neared the Korean Peninsula.

Lt. -Gen. H.R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, on Sunday cited "an global consensus" including China "that this is a situation that just can't continue".

US President Donald Trump, who stated last week that the US and its allies may "deal with" Pyongyang if China did not, said on Sunday that Beijing was "working with us on the North Korean problem". "Our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people", he explained.

Hill said the threat from North Korea has increased since the period of 2005 to 2007 when he headed a US delegation to six-party talks aimed at addressing North Korea's nuclear program.

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Early assessments suggested the projectile was not an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the continental USA, two US military officials told NBC News.

"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?"

North Korea has spent decades trying to develop operational nuclear weapons.

Pence joined a motorcade to the DMZ, which he called the "frontier of freedom", with Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea.

"We've seen how preemptive strikes work - a lot of my friends died in Iraq because of a preemptive strike", said Shawn Vandiver of the Truman National Security Project.

Some analysts who study North Korea have been anticipating a more provocative act: an underground nuclear test, which would be the rogue state's sixth in the last decade.

The U.S. Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analyzed.

The test came just one day after the DPRK held a major military parade in which it showed off what appeared to be new long-range missiles.

As if scoffing at the worldwide community, which warned of any further military provocations, North Korea launched yet another ballistic missile on Sunday.

The North Koreans use Sinpo shipyard for their submarine activity, and USA satellites have observed increased activity there in April, a United States official said at the time of the previous test. North Korea has indicated that it plans to conduct another nuclear test, and that may not be far off as satellite images show that preparations are already complete.

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