US Weighs Options After North Korea’s Failed Missile Test

Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea on Sunday, the same day North Korea conducted another failed missile test and one day after it paraded its latest arsenal of weapons through the streets of Pyongyang in celebration of the country’s most important holiday. US Pacific Command said it tracked and detected the launch, which took place at 6:21 a.m. (KST) on April 16 near Sinpo. PACOM said the type of missile was still being assessed, but a White House foreign policy advisor who spoke with reporters traveling with the vice president on background said it was not an ICBM, but “probably a medium-range missile” that exploded “about four to five seconds” after it was launched. The official said the US had “good intelligence” before and after the launch. During a troop talk at US Army Garrison Yongsan in downtown Seoul, Pence called the launch a “provocation,” and emphasized that the United States’ “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 with God’s help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula.” President Trump’s national security adviser H.R. McMaster, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, cited an international consensus to act and said, “It’s time for us to undertake all actions we can, short of a military option, to try to resolve this peacefully.” McMaster added, “We are working together with our allies and partners and with the Chinese leadership to develop a range of options.” As tensions continue to flare in the region, the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 1, led by the USS Carl Vinson, which President Donald Trump called a “powerful armada,” is steaming toward North Korea. The 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan,—the largest combat-ready wing in the Air Force—also flexed its military might on April 12 with a no-notice elephant walk.