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President Trump's senior security advisor on Sunday warned North Korea to end its nuclear testing or face USA reprisals, and he called that country's leader a global threat.
The failed launch comes a day after North Korea paraded dozens of missiles in Pyongyang. Considering that U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have already visited Seoul in the early days of the Trump administration, South Korean government officials say Washington is putting a lot of weight on the two countries' alliance and on solving the North Korea issue.
The north has also claimed of capabilities of launching ballistic missiles from submarines, which translates into possible threats to the Western coasts of the U.S.
Pence had been briefed on the failed launch en route to Seoul and had been in touch with Trump, the White House said.
Last week, Trump said he would not declare China a currency manipulator, pulling back from a campaign promise, as he looked for help from Beijing, which is the North's dominant trade partner.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks as his wife Karen Pence listens during a dinner with soldiers and family members after Easter Sunday church services at a military base in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 16, 2017.
Earlier Monday, Pence visited with US troops at Camp Bonifas, just south of the DMZ.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed that test as the "greatest success" and said it brought the United States mainland within range of a mobile delivery system.
North Korea has attempted to fire a missile but the US Defence Department said the launch had failed "almost immediately".
The U.S. Pacific Command said the missile "blew up nearly immediately", adding the type of missile was being analyzed. "The type of missile is still being assessed", the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) said in a statement. Eastern Time - a missle that blew up nearly immediately, CNN is reporting.
Many outside analysts believe that North Korea has not yet mastered the technology to build warheads small enough to place on long-range missiles.
CNN's Will Ripley in Pyongyang, North Korea, reported there was no immediate confirmation from North Korean state media about the launch.
In Seoul Vice President Pence on behalf of "Commander in Chief Donald Trump", said at an Easter Sunday lunch event with USA troops, "We're proud of you, and we are grateful to your service to the United States of America on this frontier of freedom that is South Korea".
Asked about North Korea this past week, he told reporters: "North Korea is a problem".
"There is an worldwide consensus now, including the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just can not continue".
The Trump administration had been anticipating action this weekend because Saturday was the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, making it the country's most important holiday and one often used to score propaganda points.
The status of the North Korean underground nuclear test program is unchanged, a senior U.S. defense official told CNN, and a test could come at any time.