Pence arrives in South Korea amid tensions

The first stop on a 10-day Asia trip-which includes stops in Tokyo, Jakarta, and Sydney-Pence is expected to discuss the North's latest provocations with South Korean officials.

It wasn't immediately clear what kind of missile was sacked from the city of Sinpo, but the failure will sting in Pyongyang because it comes a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year- celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather.

"We are in close contact with the US and South Korea and in addition to urging (North Korea) to refrain from provocative actions and observe relevant UN Security Council resolutions, we will take all necessary steps to protect our people's lives and assets", Mr Suga said.

Abe expressed concern during a parliamentary panel on national security and diplomacy amid looming concern of another missile or nuclear test by North Korea.

"Remember, President Donald Trump said, "...the problem will be taken care of".

Pence will meet with business leaders at each stop, including in Jakarta, though he was not expected to wade into the weedy details of disputes between the Indonesian government and US companies like mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX.N).

Pence's remarks at an Easter Service with American troops based in South Korea came after North Korea launched a missile off its east coast.

After a two-month policy review, the Trump administration has settled on a policy toward the North that relies on "maximum pressure and engagement", USA officials said Friday.

This is the third visit to South Korea by a top official from the Trump administration. "If they are unable to do so, the USA, with its allies, will!" he tweeted Thursday. This matters because while North Korea regularly launches short-range missiles, it is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target US troops in Asia and, eventually, the USA mainland. The U.S. has sent a strong message to the North by dispatching a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group close to the peninsula.

Washington and Seoul will try hard to figure out what exactly North Korea fired.

The statement Sunday said it wasn't clear what kind of missile was involved.

Pyongyang recently threatened to conduct its sixth nuclear test in a decade, rising tensions-and the odds of a military confrontation-to the highest levels in recent years.



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