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North Korea 'close to testing ballistic missile'

Kim Jong Un Credit: AP

North Korea is close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), leader Kim Jong Un said.

In a TV speech, he added: "Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage."

North Korea tested ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate during 2016.

It is believed the country is years away from developing an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.

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US detects failed North Korean ballistic missile test

North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has defied international criticism. Credit: KCNA via Reuters

The US military has detected a failed North Korean test launch of an intermediate ballistic missile near the northwestern city of Kusong, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

Pentagon spokesman, US Navy Commander Gary Ross, said: "We strongly condemn this and North Korea's other recent missile tests.

We intend to raise our concerns at the UN to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK accountable for these actions."

Ross said the US commitment to the defense of its allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan, was "iron-clad" in the face of Pyongyang's actions.

The Pentagon said the missile launch did not pose a threat to North America.

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