China, US working on 'North Korea problem'


Pence, who has called the North's failed missile test a day earlier "a provocation", said the US and its allies will achieve its objectives through "peaceable means or ultimately by whatever means are necessary" to protect South Korea and stabilize the region.

Trump's national security advisor, H.R. McMaster said China recognizes the severity of the situation, telling United States media outlet ABC on Sunday "this situation just can't continue". President Donald Trump warns he's ready to "solve North Korea", while North Korea's deputy foreign minister says his country will conduct its next nuclear test whenever it sees fit.

McMaster was speaking hours after US and South Korean defense officials told CNN that an attempted missile launch by North Korea failed.

The latest launch came a day after the North held a defiant massive military parade in Pyongyang that showcased almost 60 missiles - including a suspected new intercontinental ballistic missile. 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.

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North Korea unveiled its latest submarine-launched ballistic missile and a version of the same missile that can be launched from land-based launchers - both of which use solid fuel and present a far greater challenge to find and destroy before they're fired off.

"We weren't surprised by it, we were anticipating it", the foreign policy adviser said.

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"And I think there is worldwide consensus now, including the Chinese, and the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just can't continue".

While McMaster conceded that estimates on North Korea's weapons capabilities "vary widely", even failed missile tests could allow them to improve their programmes, he said. Last week, he said he would not declare China a currency manipulator, pulling back from a campaign promise, as he looks for help from Beijing, which is the North's dominant trade partner. The U.S. moves an enormous warship to the waters off the peninsula in a display of military might.

The world had been eyeing a potential nuclear or missile launch around Kim Il-sung's birthday after a ballistic missile test earlier this month ahead of the first U.S.

Another semi-covert approach would be for Washington to use electronic warfare or cyber attacks to disable North Korean missiles during or shortly after their launch.

"Significantly higher estimates are possible if North Korea significantly expands its gas centrifuge program and dramatically boosts its production and separation of plutonium over what is assumed in the current analysis", he added.

There are 28,500 American troops in South Korea.

The failed missile attempt by North Korea was sacked while Mr Pence was aboard his plane, Air Force Two, heading towards the South Korean capital.

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Ford also asks the questions: "What have we learned from Iraq, and why is the UN Security Council not taking a lead in getting the United States, China and North Korea to the negotiating table?"

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While the failed test was initially met with a muted response from Washington, US President Donald Trump's national security adviser later signalled the US took the action seriously.

An official aboard the aircraft told reporters that there was no need for the U.S. to take action because North Korea's missile had failed.

To protect against the growing threat from North Korea, Thornberry said, the USA must increase its missile defense in the region.

Pence is also likely to explain to Hwang the Trump administration's North Korea policy.

Panmunjom: The United States is ruling nothing out in its dealings with North Korea, Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday during a visit to the heavily militarised border between the two Koreas.

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"Japan will closely cooperate with the US and South Korea over North Korea and will call for China to take a bigger role", Mr Abe told parliament.