Pence sees North Korea's failed missile test as 'provocation'

Frederick Owens
April 17, 2017

USA national security adviser General H.R. McMaster used familiar language on Sunday to describe North Korea's "provocative and destabilising and threatening behaviour", while leaving all options on the table as his team helps develop plans of action for the region.

"The people of North Korea the military of North Korea should not mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies". "We are working together with our allies and partners and with the Chinese leadership to develop a range of options".

"This latest missile test just fits into a pattern of provocative and destabilizing and threatening behavior on the part of the North Korean regime, and I think there's an worldwide consensus now - including the Chinese and the Chinese leadership - that this is a situation that just can't continue", he said on ABC's "This Week". McMaster said the us hasn't had reliable allies in Afghanistan in the past, but hopes that will change with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in power.

- Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday described North Korea's failed missile test as "a provocation" that highlighted the risks plaguing the region, as the White House said President Trump has an array of military, diplomatic, and other options to respond.

North Korea has often test-fired missiles to mark major dates such as Saturday's 105 anniversary of the birth of the nation's founder Kim Il-Sung, or as gestures of defiance when top USA officials visit the region.

US President Donald Trump held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, and has praised China's turning back of North Korean coal ships as a "big step" forward in the effort to enlist Chinese pressure on Pyongyang.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit last week to Russian Federation had highlighted the relationship as being at an all-time low.

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North Korea fired a ballistic missile early Sunday from its Sinpo submarine base, but it blew up nearly immediately.

"We weren't surprised by it, we were anticipating it", the foreign policy adviser said.

Trump's decision to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield this month, in response to what he said was Syria's use of chemical weapons, raised questions about his plans for reclusive North Korea. With Trump's threats via Twitter of dealing with the DPRK and its nuclear program, seen as an increasing destabilizing element in east Asia because of Pyongyang's constant missile and nuclear tests, the new American president has produced an unpredictability aspect that might see, especially with all the military maneuverings taking place, a miscalculation on the part of any of the concerned actors that could, instead of again bringing the adversaries to the brink of conflict, prompt an attack or a retaliatory move that constitutes an act of war. He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the US will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.

The North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target US troops in Asia and, eventually, the USA mainland.

According to U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Commander David Benham, the command detected and tracked what the U.S. military assessed was a DPRK missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time (2121 GMT) April 15.

Company worker Rim Chung Ryol, 30, said he had not heard of the test. "As long as we have Marshall Kim Jong Un we can win any fight".

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