Missile launching (illustration)
Missile launching (illustration) Thinkstock

South Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday said North Korea attempted but failed to launch a missile from Sinpo, an eastern coastal city, just hours before US Vice President Mike Pence landed in the area for a previously scheduled visit.

It was not clear what kind of missile they were attempting to launch.

According to the US Pacific Command, the North Korean missile "blew up almost immediately" upon launch.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US foreign policy adviser traveling with Pence on Air Force Two said, "We had good intelligence before the launch and good intelligence after the launch.

"It's a failed test. It follows another failed test. So really no need to reinforce their failure. We don't need to expend any resources against that.

"It wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when. The good news is that after five seconds it fizzled out."

US Defense Secretary James Mattis said, "The President and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The President has no further comment."

Meanwhile, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, "North Korea showing a variety of offensive missiles at yesterday's military parade and daring to fire a ballistic missile today is a show of force that threatens the whole world.

"Our government condemns this serious threat on the Korean peninsula and overall international society."

South Korea hosts 28,500 US troops.

Earlier in April, North Korea tested another ballistic missile at Sinpo. That missile fell into the Sea of Japan.

On Saturday, North Korea publicly paraded over sixty missiles in honor of founder Kim II-Sung's 105th birthday. Several of these missiles may have been solid-fuel ICBMs.

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