SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean missile exploded during launch Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said, a high-profile failure that comes as a powerful U.S. aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula in a show of force. It wasn't immediately clear what kind of missile was test-fired from the east coast 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. The North's test firing can be seen as a message of defiance to the Trump administration in Washington, coming as it does on the day U.S.
President Donald Trump was uncharacteristically quiet about the failed launch of a North Korean missile from the country's east coast. In a statement, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Trump and his military team "are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment." Trump has been leaning on China to put pressure on North Korea, but has also threatened to take on the country alone if necessary. "I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will!" he tweeted Thursday.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea paraded its intercontinental ballistic missiles in a massive military display in central Pyongyang on Saturday, with ruler Kim Jong Un looking on with delight as his nation flaunted its increasingly sophisticated military hardware amid rising regional tensions. Kim did not speak during the annual parade, which celebrates the 1912 birthday of his late grandfather Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founding ruler, but a top official warned that the North would stand up to any threat posed by the United States. Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching U.S.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't speak to the thousands of soldiers and civilians gathered at a massive parade honoring his late grandfather on Saturday, but his expanding array of ballistic missiles made an emphatic statement. The military hardware displayed at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim's grandfather and North Korea's late founder, included intercontinental ballistic missiles that could one day be capable of reaching targets as far away as the continental United States, and solid-fuel missiles that could be fired from land and submarines. The festivities took place amid concerns that North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a major rocket launch, such as its first flight test of an ICBM.
Japan's foreign minister says his country needs to remain on alert over North Korea even after this weekend's celebrations. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida made the comment to reporters Saturday just as a massive parade started in North Korea marking the 105th birthday of the country's late founder, Kim Il Sung. Kishida noted that more events are expected in North Korea later in April, and said "there is a possibility that the country may take action on those occasions." North Korea has another big military holiday on April 25, when its army marks its anniversary. Kishida said that Japan needs "to be fully prepared to take various measures." He did not elaborate.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — While the world watched the latest round of saber-rattling between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea staged a massive rally and military parade Saturday to mark the 105th anniversary of its national founder, Kim Il Sung. There weren't any nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches to mark the day. But concerns the rising tensions could lead to a real conflict were on the minds of many Koreans on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone. The Associated Press talked to residents in Pyongyang and Seoul to get a feel for how the people at the center of the storm see the situation.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is embarking on a 10-day, four nation tour of the Asia-Pacific this weekend, arriving in South Korea amid tensions over North Korea's aggressive flaunting of its nuclear and missile program. Pence will visit South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia during his trip, meeting with leaders in the region, military troops and business groups. It will be Pence's second foreign trip as vice president — he traveled to Germany and Belgium in February to meet with NATO and European Union officials. Five things to know about President Donald Trump's No. 2 at the start of his visit.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — President Donald Trump's tweets are adding fuel to a "vicious cycle" of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Friday. The official added that if the U.S. shows any sign of "reckless" military aggression, Pyongyang is ready to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own. Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of Barack Obama. He added that North Korea will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in "quality and quantity" and said Pyongyang is ready to go to war if that's what Trump wants.
BEIJING (AP) — There can be no winners in a war between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides. Wang's comments Friday mark the latest attempt to cool tensions by North Korea's most important ally and key provider of food and fuel aid. Any fighting on the Korean Peninsula is likely to draw in China, which has repeatedly expressed concerns about a wave of refugees and the possible presence of U.S. and South Korean troops on its border. China also has grown increasingly frustrated with the refusal of Kim Jong Un's regime to heed its admonitions, and in February cut off imports of North Korean coal that provide Pyongyang with a crucial source of foreign currency.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has called North Korea a "problem" country and said it will be dealt with through a broad set of options, though they're vague for now. It may be up to his vice president, Mike Pence, to fill in the details during a visit to Asia. His travels to the region, including stops in South Korea and Japan beginning Sunday, come amid indications that North Korea is potentially preparing its sixth nuclear test in a decade or a significant missile launch, such as its first flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Hours before Pence left, North Korea showed off its ICBMs in a military display at the annual parade in the capital that celebrates the birthday of the North's founding ruler, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.