Pence: North Korea 'provocation' shows the risk to military

North Korea's failed missile launch Saturday fits into the country's "pattern of provocative behavior", but there is an worldwide consensus now, including with the leadership of China, that such actions can't continue, National Security Adviser H.R. McFarland said Sunday.

McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, made the case for global action on the issue, including enlisting North Korean neighbor China, given the "brutality" of Kim's regime.

The launch came just hours before Mike Pence, the USA vice president, arrived in Seoul for talks with the South Korean government over how to deal with Pyongyang's nuclear ambition. For example, five years ago North Korea held a parade in which it pretended to display intercontinental ballistic missiles. "That's what happened the last time we had these kinds of sanctions imposed on Chinese banks.That's the leverage and we need that kind of political leverage because that's the way to get the attention of the regime in North Korea and have them reconsider their nuclear program".

"The missile blew up nearly immediately", the US Defense Department said of the early-morning launch from near Sinpo on the North's east coast.

South Korea's National Security Council was set to convene Sunday morning local time (8:30 p.m. ET) "to examine the security situation regarding the missile launch by North Korea", a South Korean presidential spokesperson told NBC News.

The White House adviser said Trump and China's President Xi Jinping had discussed a number of steps at their summit this month and "we've seen the Chinese already take some initial steps towards that" - citing the turning back of coal ships from North Korea.

North Korea launched a missile today but it blew up nearly immediately after its launch. The New York Times reported last month that the U.S. military is working hard on missile defences that would involve sabotage rather than traditional anti-missile interceptors.

How North Korea would respond to even a limited strike is unknown, but it threatened on April 14 to "ruthlessly ravage" the United States if Washington chooses to attack.

President Trump has vowed that he will not allow North Korea to develop a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon that can strike the United States, and Kim has vowed to pursue that very goal to prevent a pre-emptive USA strike. The adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's initial understanding of the launch, said there was no expected response from the Trump administration because there was no need for the United States to reinforce the failure.

China, alarmed at rising US-North Korea tensions, on April 15 called for talks leading to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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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. The US has also sent the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson-led strike group toward the Korean Peninsula.

While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated US response is trailing Pence as he undertakes a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric.

A feared military confrontation between North Korea and the United States didn't materialize over the weekend, but tensions between the two countries remain dangerously high for the indefinite future. If they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will!

"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?" he tweeted on Sunday morning.

As worldwide tension heightened over the country's nuclear weapons programme in the face of fierce American criticism of the Pyongyang regime, Johnson said earlier the situation needed to be looked at carefully.

Company worker Rim Chung Ryol, 30, said he had not heard of the test.

Hours after the failed test, McMaster emphasized Trump's preference, as with this month's airstrikes in Syria, for unannounced military action.

"If it is a failure, then failure is the mother of success", he told Reuters.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (right) attending a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il Sung.

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