North Korea showed two new kinds of ICBM enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of trucks, suggesting Pyongyang was working towards a "new concept" of ICBM, said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the US-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
The attempted missile launch comes a day after North Korea paraded intercontinental ballistic missiles in front of the world and its adversaries, including the U.S., heightened their defenses against a strike.
South Korean and U.S. intelligence officials are trying to determine what type of missile was used Sunday.
Amid the elevated tensions, the United States a few days ago dispatched what Trump called an "armada" of ships, including an aircraft carrier, into waters off the Korean Peninsula.
"North Korea attempted to launch an unidentified missile this morning in Sinpo district of the Hamgyong-namdo province, but the test appears to have failed", the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The Associated Press furthers notes that in a statement Friday, North Korea's military drew parallels to past US actions against Iraq and Libya.
Its ultimate goal is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States mainland - something President Donald Trump has vowed "won't happen".
North Korea has been conducting frequent tests of ballistic missiles as part of its program to develop a missile capable of reaching the continental United States - a goal many analysts say is at least a decade away.
North Korean soldiers march past with a float carrying a picture of former supreme leader Kim Il-sung. Both Pence and President Donald Trump have been notified. The shorter range ballistic missiles displayed Saturday, meanwhile, are a threat to countries in the Asian region.
"North Korea must have felt the shock wave travelling all the way from Afghanistan", the Communist party-controlled newspaper said in an editorial.
Displaying more than one of the missiles indicates North Korea is progressing with its plan to base a missile on a submarine, which are hard to detect, said Joshua Pollack, editor of the Washington-based Nonproliferation Review.
North Korea's leadership has warned the USA it is "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks" if provoked.
"North Korea's military will as ever courageously counter those who encroach upon the dignity and sovereignty of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and will always mercilessly foil all the provocative options of the United States with Korean-style toughest counteraction".
China has expressed fears that "conflict could break out at any moment", and that such a situation would bring no winners.
The United States sent a naval strike group to the coast of the Korean Peninsula in a show of force that has become a first, wary showdown between Kim and President Trump.
China's foreign minister urged both the USA and North Korea to de-escalate the situation before it gets to an "irreversible and unmanageable stage" on Friday, calling on both sides to "refrain from provoking and threatening each other".