Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that North Korea’s latest “provocation” underscored the risks faced by American and South Korean service members just hours after the country conducted a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival.

While Pence was flying over the Bering Sea, a North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, U.S. and South Korean officials said.

The latest failed missile test represents a high-profile failure that came as a powerful U.S. aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula.

Pence landed in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia and was quickly confronted with the stakes facing the U.S. as Pyongyang seeks to flex its muscles around the birth anniversary of the country’s late founder and advance the regime’s nuclear and missile capabilities.

After arriving in Seoul, Pence placed a wreath at Seoul National Cemetery and then worshipped with military personnel at an Easter church service at the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. During a fellowship meal after the services, he said the tensions on the Korean peninsula had put into sharp focus the importance of the joint U.S.-South Korean mission.

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