Pence lands in South Korea after failed missile launch

Pence lands in South Korea after failed missile launch
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Visiting Seoul on Sunday, Vice President Pence said the latest “provocation from the North” showed the need for continued military cooperation between South Korea and the United States, thanking members of the U.S. armed forces for serving abroad on the Easter holiday.

Pence was aboard Air Force Two for his 10-day trip to Asia when North Korea attempted its latest ballistic missile launch — a failure — amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

Pence placed a wreath at the Seoul National Cemetery before attending Easter services with military personnel, according to reports.

"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face 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," Pence said, according to the Associated Press. "Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires the nation and inspires the world."

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North Korea’s latest missile launch, timed to mark the 105th birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung, came days after President Trump ordered a naval strike group to the Western Pacific Ocean in a show of force against supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who was a main point of discussion in recent talks between the White House and China.

Trump was briefed on the failed launch, officials said, and spoke with Pence by phone.

“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,” the vice president said.

Pence noted that his visit also carried important personal meaning: Exactly 64 years ago, his late father, Edward, was awarded the Bronze Star for his Army service during the Korean War.