Pence at Korean DMZ after North's missile

Echoing the remarks of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on North Korea last month, Pence said the "era of strategic patience is over".

On Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the problem with North Korea "is coming to a head".

Pyongyang has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them previous year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw three rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.

CNN's Will Ripley in Pyongyang, North Korea, reported there was no immediate confirmation from North Korean state media about the launch.

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

"It's a failed test - follows another failed test". Though the type of missile tested this time is unclear, conducting the launch from the coastal city instead of an inland location suggests the possibility of a new type of missile - and that North Korea factored in the risk of a failure in selecting the launch site. "The good news is that after five seconds, it fizzled out".

Friedman said the USA and North Korea are now "in this situation where all wars begin, uncertainty at every level, but with the risk of not acting higher than the risk of acting".

South Korean officials convened a meeting of the National Security Council in the wake of the failed test.

However, he added: "We've got options; we've got a range of options both militarily, diplomatic and others, so we have a wide array of tools at [our] disposal for the president should he choose to use them". There was no mention of the test failure by the KCNA state news agency.

Liu Ming, from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said Beijing was unlikely to take further action at this stage unless Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test or long- term ballistic missile test as Beijing insisted that talks, not military action, were the only solution to the North Korean issues.

Mr Trump acknowledged on Sunday that the softer line he had taken on China's management of its currency was linked to Beijing's help on the North Korea issue.

China banned imports of North Korean coal on Feb 26, cutting off its most important export.

The timing was a deep embarrassment for the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, because the missile appeared to have been launched to show off his daring as a fleet of American warships approached his country to deter provocations.

He was briefed about North Korea's failed missile launch Saturday.

Many such tests have been successful, with the devices traveling hundreds of miles before landing safely in adjacent seas.

"So we just wanted to come and say thank you, thank you for your service, and thank you general for your leadership and the leadership in service of all those represented here".

Numerous nation's missiles are, however, capable of striking targets in Seoul and Tokyo - strong American allies.

The test-launch came amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, following the dispatching of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships to the peninsula.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged North Korea to refrain from taking further provocative actions, comply with United Nations resolutions and abandon its nuclear missile development.

"The next time they launch", he said after the last attempt, "they might have a better chance of successfully doing so".

A White House foreign policy adviser on board immediately tried to downplay the significance, making clear it wasn't a matter of if, but when, the North Koreans would try to flex their military might again.

Pence is embarking on a 10-day trip around Asia, Australia and Hawaii. Pence is also expected to bring an economic message during a session with business leaders here, his office said.

Pence is 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.

This article was originally posted at 9:30 a.m.

  • Leroy Wright