In the heights of escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea attempted a missile launch last Sunday. But according to official reports, the whole thing was a failure as the missile blew up "almost immediately."
American and South Korean intelligence officials are still trying to figure out the type of missile North Korea launched, but they don't believe it had intercontinental capabilities. Initial reports state that it could be just a medium-range missile.
The whole event transpired in Sinpo, a North Korean port city that is 400 miles from Japan. Earlier this month, the elusive country also conducted a ballistic missile test in the same site, according to CNN. The missile launch happened four hours before US Vice President Mike Pence came to South Korea for an official visit.
North Korea held a grand military parade the day before the launch in which they displayed all their military capabilities. It was also a celebration of the birthday of their late President Kim Il Sung. According to NBC News, new capabilities for long-range ICBMs are also displayed in the parade.
US President Donald Trump is constantly briefed about the details of the launch, according to White House officials. James Mattis, Secretary of Defense, said in a statement: "The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment."
Even though the missile launch was unsuccessful, the US and South Korea are still on high alerts. A meeting of the National Security Council was immediately held by South Korean officials because of the failed missile launch, saying this kind of threat on the Korean peninsula is condemned by their government. A powerful measure "the North can't endure" will be enforced if the missile launch leads to a nuclear test.
Vice President Mike Pence is still pushing through his 10-day planned visit to Asia even in the wake of recent events. He visited the Korean demilitarized zone the day after the missile launch.