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North Korea 'fires ballistic missile'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Credit: PA

North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew about 500 kilometres, South Korea's military has said.

They said it was North Korea's "show of force" against the Trump administration's hard-line stance on Pyongyang.

"The flight distance was about 500 kilometres, and South Korea and the United States are conducting a close-up analysis on additional information," South Korea's Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Japan said that it would make a "strong protest" to the country, through diplomatic routes.

The Trump administration said that it had been expecting a provocation from the tiny Asian country, and said it would weigh all options, in an effort to show resolve but avoid escalation.

It added that it would press China to do more to rein in the country.

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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