It was unclear exactly when the conversation took place on Sunday, but Xinhua's report of the call came out after a failed missile launch by North Korea. A North Korean missile exploded during launch Sunday from the c.
(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A visitor walks by a TV showing file footage of a North Korea's ballistic missile launch, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, April 16, 2017.
There was a high degree of confidence it was not an intercontinental ballistic missile, a USA official said on condition of anonymity.
An administration official said President Trump has been briefed at Mar-a-Lago on the failed North Korean missile launch.
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The attempted launch occurred a day after the regime of Kim Jong Un showed off a bevy of new missiles and launchers at a large-scale military parade on its most important holiday, CNN reported. "The president has no further comment", Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in a statement. Trump's national security adviser cited Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government as a sign that the president "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions". The vice president is expected to arrive in the South Korean capital at 3:30 p.m. local time or 2:30 a.m. ET.
President Donald Trump's vice president arrived in the region after North Korea celebrated the birth anniversary of the country's late founder with a military parade.
Pence's trip to South Korea is described by his aides as a sign of U.S. commitment to its ally in the face of rising tension. The United States, South Korea and other countries have vowed to apply more pressure on the North, but so far nothing has worked to stop Pyongyang's nuclear program. "If they are unable to do so, the USA, with its allies, will!" he tweeted Thursday.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two a year ago.
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Trump also ordered a United States navy strike group, headed by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, to head to the region as a show of force.
Sunday's launch was carried out around dawn from Sinpo, a site on North Korea's east coast where it has a shipyard.
During their talks, Hwang and Pence are also expected to discuss the ongoing installation of a USA missile defense system on the peninsula.
A mobile-launched missile tested on March 21 also exploded "within seconds of launch", according to U.S. Pacific Command. Last year, Pyongyang attempted to launch a Musudan missile on April 15, an auspicious date on which millions celebrate Kim II Sung's birthday.
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Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.