North Korea's missile launch threatens whole world, South says

A currency trader passes by screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index, center left and foreign exchange rate center right at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul South Korea Friday April 14

Vice President Mike Pence, who has called the failed missile launch "a provocation", arrived at Camp Bonifas on Monday morning for a briefing with military leaders and to meet with American troops stationed there.

The regime followed that - according to USA and South Korean officials - with an attempted missile test Sunday from the eastern port of Sinpo.

Meanwhile, the United States is already aware of North Korea's capabilities, including its work on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

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.

McMaster said various U.S. military and intelligence agencies are working on providing options to "have them ready" for Trump "if this pattern of destabilizing behavior continues".

In a broadcast interview that aired on Sunday, McMaster said the us would rely on its allies as well as on Chinese leadership to resolve the issues with North Korea.

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US President Donald Trump held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, and has praised China's turning back of North Korean coal ships as a "big step" forward in the effort to enlist Chinese pressure on Pyongyang.

South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials are trying to determine what type of missile was used Sunday.

After a two-month policy review, officials settled on a policy dubbed "maximum pressure and engagement", US officials said Friday.

North Korea's behavior will be the focus of Pence's trip to Asia, with a senior administration official saying the vice president would be discussing "the belligerency of North Korea" at every stop.

The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

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. North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests a year ago, including its most powerful to date, and there have been a slew of shorter range missile firings.

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The US vice president said his country stands by its "iron-clad alliance" with South Korea and would try to maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula through strength.

A White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence on the plane said that the United States did not need to take action "to reinforce their failure".

Trump, spending the Easter weekend at his Florida resort, reinforced his commitment to the armed forces under his control. "We will see what happens!" In Washington, however, American security experts and former senior officials familiar with deliberations in the administration say an attack on North Korea is unlikely, for three reasons. "Our military is building and is rapidly becoming stronger than ever before", he tweeted.

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. If the USA launches airstrikes, North Korea would be able to hit South Korea with a counterattack that would kill and wound tens or hundreds of thousands of people.

Any U.S. military action brings severe risks for U.S. ally South Korea. A strike will be even harder if a government more friendly to Pyongyang comes to power in South Korea's presidential election in early May.

Earlier this week, the US dispatched ships, including an aircraft carrier, to waters off the Korean Peninsula, drawing condemnation from Pyongyang that is already indignant about annual U.S.

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Panetta agreed it would be a unsafe step to take preemptive action against North Korea, as there would be a counterreaction, most likely aimed at Seoul. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.

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