Visiting US Vice President Mike Pence described North Korea’s failed missile test on Sunday (April 16, 2017) as a “provocation” and assured South Korea of Washington’s full support against the threat from its volatile neighbour, AFP reported.
Pyongyang launched the missile hours before Pence arrived in Seoul for talks on curbing the North’s weapons programs as fears grow that it is planning another nuclear test.
But US officials said the missile exploded seconds after it was fired.
“This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defence of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defence of America in this part of the world,” Pence told US military families at an Easter dinner.
Some 28,500 US troops are stationed in the South.
The latest launch came a day after the North held a defiant massive military parade in Pyongyang which showcased nearly 60 missiles -- including a suspected new intercontinental ballistic missile.
“The missile blew up almost immediately,” the US Defense Department said of Sunday’s early-morning launch from near Sinpo on the North’s east coast.
The type of missile was not clear.
The North has a habit of test-firing missiles to mark major dates such as Saturday’s 105th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder Kim Il-Sung, or as gestures of defiance when top US officials visit the region