As tensions mount along the Korean Peninsula, North Korea unveils a big surprise.
North Korea attempted to launch a new missile Sunday, but the device "blew up almost immediately,"e the U.S. military said.
The Pentagon and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it wasn’t immediately clear what type of missile was involved.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a brief statement saying President Trump and "his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment."
The failed launch came a day after tens of thousands of North Korean soldiers goose-stepped and new missiles and other military hardware were wheeled out in a show of military strength and defiance during a celebratory parade in the capital of Pyongyang.
The U.S. and South Korea's military said Sunday's missile was launched from Sinpo, on North Korea's east coast.
"The North attempted to launch an unidentified missile from near the Sinpo region this morning but it is suspected to have failed," the South's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the same region earlier this month, before a summit meeting between the leaders of the United States and China, its key ally. Tension has been rising in the region a mid concerns North Korea might soon conduct a sixth nuclear test.
Sunday's missile test comes after North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests last year. There have been a number of shorter-range missile firings. North Korea's goal is to build a nuclear missile that can reach the continental United States.
North Korea is thought to possess a small arsenal of atomic bombs and an array of short- and medium-range missiles, according to The Associated Press. Outside analysts say the country has not mastered the ability build war heads small enough to mount on long-range missiles, although some say the country can build nuclear-tipped short-range missiles that could have South Korea and Japan within striking distance, the AP says.
Saturday's North Korea military parade, which marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of regime founder Kim Il-Sung, and Sunday's missile failure come as the U.S. is making its presence known in the region, with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group approaching the Korean Peninsula.
Mattis' muted acknowledgment of the North Korean missile failure stands in contrast to the president's more confrontational Tuesday tweet, in which he said, "North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A."
In addition to the Vinson, the U.S. presence in the region will also be reflected with the scheduled arrival of Vice President Mike Pence in South Korea Sunday afternoon. His visit reflects U.S. commitment to its South Korean ally.