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Vice President Mike Pence has responded to North Korea’s failed attempt at a missile test launch by calling it a “provocation from the north” that is a reminder of risks people face “in the defense of the freedom of South Korea and the defense of America.”

RELATED: Just after showing off its missiles, a North Korea test launch failed in spectacular fashion

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a dinner with soldiers and family members after Easter Sunday church services at a military base in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 16, 2017. Pence said Sunday that North Korea’s “provocation” underscored the risks faced by American and South Korean service members, hours after the North conducted a failed missile launch shortly before Pence’s arrival. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

“This morning’s provocation from the north is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world,” he said. “Let me assure you that under President Trump’s leadership our 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 God’s help freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula.”

In this May 9, 2016 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un listens during the party congress in Pyongyang, North Korea. Since North Korea’s latest nuclear test, Pyongyang and Seoul have been openly trading threats of decapitation strikes and annihilating capitals populated by millions of civilians. And the talk of how each side might throw that first pre-emptive punch has become more detailed than ever. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

In advance of the Easter holiday, Pence whose father Edward served in the Army during the Korean War and earned a Bronze Star, focused on sacrifice.

RELATED: North Korea just sent a nuclear message to the U.S., while parading missiles in the streets

“On this day, I think of my dad,” he said. “[T]he sacrifices that were made [and] the commitment that endures here as a result of a free and prosperous South Korea.”

We highlighted earlier Saturday North Korea’s annual celebration of its founder Kim Il Sung and the exhibition of a long line of missiles through the streets of Pyongyang.

These, when placed alongside comments made by top official Choe Ryong Hae about the United States asking for “nuclear justice,” were a clear attempt by North Korea to display its military might.

Hours later, this appears to have blown up in North Korea’s face.

According to ABC News, a Defense Department official said that a ballistic missile launch “blew up almost immediately.”

“U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time April 15. The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Commander David Benham said.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that President Trump has been briefed on the failed launch and has no comment at this time.

“The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment,” Mattis said.

The kind of missile that was launched is still being determined, though earlier in the day it was speculated that North Korea had developed and was showing off its version of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

(H/t NY Post)

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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