A missile launched by North Korea on Sunday blew up almost immediately after its launch, the US military said, a day after Pyongyang warned Washington that it is "prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war".
The attempted launch occurred a day after the regime of Kim Jong Un showed off a bevy of new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade.
"The missile blew up almost immediately. The type of missile is still being assessed," the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) said in a statement. The US Pacific Command detected and tracked what it assessed was a North Korean missile, the statement said.
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"The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo," US Pacific Command spokesman CDR Dave Benham said. Sinpo, a port city in eastern North Korea, was also the site of a ballistic missile test earlier this month in which the projectile fell into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
"USPACOM is fully committed to working closely with its allies in the Republic of Korea and in Japan to maintain security," Benham said. Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said that President Donald Trump and his military team are aware of the missile launch.
"The President and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The President has no further comment," said Mattis. South Korean and US intelligence officials are trying to determine what type of missile was used on Sunday, but it was described as a land-based missile.
The launch came just hours before Mike Pence, the US vice president, arrived in Seoul for talks with the South Korean government over how to deal with Pyongyang's nuclear ambition. North Korean state media has made no comment on the launch.
Choe Ryong Hae, who is believed to be the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said in a speech yesterday that the country is ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States.
He criticised the new US administration under President Donald Trump for "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.
"We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack," Choe said. Speaking after North Korea's "failed" missile test, US national security adviser H R McMaster said Trump will not allow Kim Jong Un's regime to have the capacity to threaten the US.
"While it's unclear and we do not want to telegraph in any way how we'll respond to certain incidents, it's clear that the president is determined not to allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States," McMaster told ABC News.
"Our president will take action that is in the best interest of the American people," he said. McMaster said the launch "fits a pattern of provocative and destabilising and threatening behaviour on the part of the North Korean regime."
"I think there's an international consensus now, including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just can't continue.” And the president has made clear that he will not accept the United States and its allies and partners in the region being under threat from this hostile regime with nuclear weapons," said McMaster, speaking to ABC from Afghanistan.