North Korea attempts but fails to launch missile: South Korea

North Korea launched a missile that "blew up nearly immediately" during the nation's latest attempt at military might, USA officials said on Saturday.

As concern about the situation mounted, The Sunday Times reported that President Trump's military advisers have assured the United Kingdom that America has the capability to neutralise North Korea's nuclear programme using conventional weapons.

"The missile blew up nearly immediately", said David Benham, a spokesman with the US Pacific Command.

"This launch can possibly be a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade".

Pence will be tasked with explaining the policy in meetings with leaders in South Korea and Japan at the start of his trip, which will also include stops in Indonesia and Australia.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) attempted early Sunday to test-fire an unidentified missile on its east coast, which was believed to have failed, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The official said the missile was not an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which North Korea has claimed to possess but has never successfully tested.

"I think the (Trump) administration anticipated that a ballistic missile launch would occur, and I have to wonder whether they were prepared to use the ships that are with that carrier group to shoot down that missile" as long as the ships were positioned in the right spots, Bennett said.

Trump recently told reporters, "North Korea is a problem".

Trump has been leaning on China to put pressure on North Korea, but has also threatened to take on the country alone if necessary.

Kim's regime has test-fired several ballistic missiles this year in his quest to develop a device that can carry a nuclear warhead to North America.

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two previous year. "The president has no further comment", Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement.

"We stand alongside our worldwide partners in making clear that North Korea must adhere to United Nations resolutions created to secure peace and stability in the region and stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons".

It nevertheless has carried out five nuclear tests -- two of them a year ago -- and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets land in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.

Leader Kim Jong-un was widely expected to attempt a launch around Saturday's anniversary of the birth of the state's founder.

A military parade featuring a high profile viewing of large missile systems not shown before by Pyongyang.

The UN Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions against the North since its first nuclear test in 2006 - all of which have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

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