Washington has vowed to protect the country. President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser, HR McMaster, said that the United States is exploring "a range of options".
US Vice President Mike Pence learned of the failed DPRK missile launch while flying to Seoul, South Korea. A foreign policy advisor on board said the White House was relieved it wasn't a nuclear test, but rather a medium range missile.
"It's not a surprise. Over the last year, president Kim of North Korea has launched over 30 missiles. Most of them failed," said K.T. McFarland, US Deputy National Security Advisor.
After ordering a review of options on the Korean Peninsula, U.S. President Donald Trump is now pursuing an approach of applying maximum pressure on the DPRK while increasing engagement with Beijing to economically pressure Pyongyang.
The U.S. sent a carrier strike group to the region after installing a controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system in the Republic of Korea.
Vice President Pence promised even more.
"We're going to give our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coastguard the resources you need and deserve to accomplish the mission you are given and come home safe. That's a promise from your commander in chief," he said.
But Beijing opposes military escalation. It wants the DPRK to stop testing illegal weapons in exchange for a U.S. suspension of military exercises with its allies.
Nonetheless, there are signs of U.S. cooperation with Beijing.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke after the missile launch, pledging to implement agreements reached between President Xi Jinping and Trump.
In February, Beijing banned shipments of coal from the DPRK, and according to the Global Times is prepared to cut off oil shipments if the DPRK conducts another nuclear test.
"This regime has given the world reason for concern and that includes the Chinese people in the Chinese leadership as well," said LT. General H.R. McMaster, US National Security Advisor.
"I mean with Kim Jong Un is doing is a threat to all people in the region and globally as well: 34 This is someone who is said not only does he want to develop a nuclear weapon but he wants to use it to coerce others."
There are also media reports that the US may have tried to sabotage the missile launch, possibly using cyber tools. Deputy National Security advisor KT McFarland had no comment..only referring to the launch as a quote: "Fizzle."