Pence sees North Korea's failed missile test as 'provocation'
The comments come after a failed missile test launch by North Korea, and a massive military parade. He has repeatedly said if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, is unwilling to do more to pressure the North, the US might take the matter into its own hands.
Analysts warn that even failed missile launches provide valuable knowledge to North Korea as it tries to build its weapons program.
The North launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month ahead of a summit between the leaders of the United States and China to discuss the North's arms programme.
On Sunday, North Korea defied warnings against further provocations by conducting its latest missile test.
Pence said that under Trump's leadership, "our resolve has never been stronger, our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger and with your help and God's help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula".
The U.S. nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is also heading to the region.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was due to arrive Sunday in Seoul for talks as tensions between Pyongyang and Washington continued to escalate.
McMaster said the launch "fits a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior on the part of the North Korean regime". China, who have always been North Korea's only ally, has been under a lot of pressure recently from the United States and the rest of the globe to keep its neighbor at check. The high-profile failure came as the North tried to showcase its nuclear and missile capabilities around the birth anniversary of the North's late founder and as a USA aircraft carrier neared the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump tweeted Thursday that he has "great confidence" in China's ability to "properly deal with North Korea".
Other White House reporters cited their own unnamed sources as saying the US planned only to retaliate.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis released a statement following the missile test saying, "The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch".
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said in a television appearance that the U.S.
"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?"
USA officials said that missile appeared to be a liquid-fueled, extended-range Scud missile that flew about 60 km, only a fraction of its range, before spinning out of control. -North Korea tensions, on Saturday called for talks leading to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
China is North Korea's only major ally.
Despite North Korea's provocations, USA officials have said that the US doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch. Successive US presidents have struggled to contain three successive dictators, and to break a cycle that has been defined by sanctions, sanctions relief, and unsettling actions including missile tests and nuclear weapons development.
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