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North Korean missile launch failed

Rebecca Rakowitz

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North Korea attempted a missile launch on Sunday that failed “almost immediately,” according to military officials.

“The President and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch,” U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement. “The President has no further comment.”

The launch came just hours before Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea for a planned visit. White House officials say the schedule of his 10-day Asia visit is not expected to change.

“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,” Pence said to U.S. service members and their families at a “Fellowship meal” in Seoul.

It is uncertain what type of missile was used, but military officials told NBC News that it was not the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could reach the continental U.S.

The launch took place in Sinpo, a port city in eastern North Korea around 400 miles from Japan that has been used for submarine activity and other missile tests.

The attempt came just one day after the Day of the Sun, one of the country’s most important holidays, during which the country displayed their new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade.

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North Korean missile launch failed