North Korean Missile Launch Fails 'Almost Immediately', US Military Says

In his ABC interview, McMaster said that Trump had directed USA military, diplomatic and intelligence officials to provide him with options - in concertation with regional allies including China - that could be used "if the North Korea regime refuses to denuclearize".

Speaking after North Korea's latest - and apparently failed - missile test, H.R. McMaster said, "I think there's an global consensus now, including - including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership - that this is a situation that just can't continue".

"I think theres an worldwide consensus now, including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just cant continue".

Pence's visit followed an impressive parade Saturday to mark the "Day of the Sun", the most important day in the North Korean calendar, when Pyongyang showed off an array of new missiles and launchers.

South Korea's foreign ministry said that by conducting the latest test just a day after displaying a series of missiles, "North Korea has threatened the whole world".

An official on Air Force Two had told reporters that the USA would not take immediate action against North Korea because the launch had failed, but added that other measures would have been carried out had they been successful in another test. 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.

USA analysts mused about the range and potency of the ICBMs based on the canister size, although some experts argued that just because the canisters were rolled out did not necessarily mean North Korea had nailed the ICBM technology.

While Trump has employed tough rhetoric in response to North Korea's recent missile tests, the new US president's options appear limited in dealing with a challenge that has vexed his Oval Office predecessors.

Hours later, Pence landed for talks on the North's increasingly defiant arms program.

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 reinforce the failure.

McMaster's use of "provocative" and "destabilizing" to describe North Korea echoes administrations of both parties that have attempted to rally others on the global stage, including China, to help prevent fresh war on the peninsula.

Numerous US officials have visited military bases overlooking the border, and the Panmunjom Joint Security Area, where North and South Korean soldiers stand watch facing each other and several meeting rooms straddle the border between the two countries.

The US Pacific Command detected and tracked what it assessed was a North Korean missile, the statement said.

Pence flew to South Korea on the first stop of a four-nation Asia tour meant to show America's allies - and remind its adversaries - that the Trump administration is not turning its back on the increasingly volatile region.

Even incorrigible gloater Donald Trump failed to wallow in the schadenfreude.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the US if provoked. The Pentagon confirmed later that the latest missile launch by the DPRK had failed. "We will see what happens!" the president tweeted.

"It's moving. There are still some things to work in any government decision it may slip a couple of weeks or months", the US adviser said of THAAD, whose powerful radar China fears could penetrate its territory.

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 North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland.

  • Leroy Wright