North Korean missile explodes on launch

Submarine Missiles on parade as Kim Jong-un inspects them

Submarine Missiles on parade as Kim Jong-un inspects them

On Thursday night, NBC News reported that the US was prepared to execute a "pre-emptive strike" if North Korea does carry out that nuclear test, though military officials have cast doubt on that claim.

Tensions have been on the rise along the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks over concerns about North Korean aggression.

US Vice President Mike Pence, who is in the area as part of previous scheduled trip, was briefed on the launch, administration officials said.

On Monday and Tuesday, the benchmark KOSPI sank 1.3 percent and the local currency dropped 1 percent against the USA dollar, with the credit default swaps (CDS) premium advancing to 57 basis points from 51.

The finance ministry said it will keep close tabs on the financial markets and take immediate market-stabilizing action if necessary. A US aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, is heading to waters off Korea in a show of force.

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The US Navy dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group to the region last weekend, and Trump said this week that if China can't rein in North Korea's nuclear program, the United States will.

US Pacific Command said it tracked a missile launch at 5:21 p.m. ET and said the missile blew up nearly immediately. Mr Kim's regime has test-fired ballistic missiles five times this year in his quest to develop a device that can carry a nuclear warhead to North America.

Pence said North Korea's "provocation" was another reminder of the risks that USA and South Korean service members face every day "in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world".

Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017.

The failure, which is likely to be seen as something of an embarrassment for the regime, came amid soaring tensions in the region over the North's nuclear weapons ambitions. "The President has no further comment", US Defense Secretary James Mattis said.

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The vice president said at a fellowship dinner at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul that the willingness of military members "to stand firm without fear inspires the nation and inspires the world".

The South's National Security Council said it would respond strongly to any further provocation.

While in South Korea, Pence will meet with South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the country's acting head of state in place of ousted President Park Geun-hye, who was recently arrested over a corruption scandal.

Another missile test from Sinpo failed earlier this month, when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean. That launch came shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump's first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. But, the US officials said it appeared to be a liquid-fuelled, extended-range Scud missile only travelled a fraction of its range before spinning out of control.

Any US military strike risks leading to a war between the world's biggest economies - one that may devastate South Korea and Japan, two American allies in striking range of retaliatory attacks. He has repeatedly declared that if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the USA might take the matter into its own hands.

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Six-nation negotiations on dismantling North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for aid fell apart in early 2009.

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