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North Korea 'fires submarine-based missile'

North Korea has reportedly fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, according to South Korea.

The South's office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile had been fired off the North's east coast at around 6.30pm local time (10.30am BST).

It comes amid fears that the North may conduct further nuclear tests ahead of a rare meeting of its ruling Workers' Party in May - the first such congress in 36 years.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missile flew "for a few minutes", but had no further details.

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N Korea 'successfully tests long-range rocket engine'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reportedly watched the test at an unknown location. Credit: Reuters/KCNA/Files

North Korean leaders claim to have successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic rocket engine.

The technology would give Pyongyang the ability to stage nuclear strikes on the US.

The engine's ground test would be a big step forward for the North's nuclear weapons programme.

However, the North may still need a good deal of work before it can hit the US mainland with nuclear missiles.

South Korean officials say North Korea does not yet have a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile, let alone the ability to arm it with a nuclear warhead.

North Korea fires ballistic missile into sea

North Korea have been warned to stop firing missiles Credit: Reuters

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea, the US state Department has confirmed.

It comes just days after the US warned that they would impose tough new sanctions on the country if they continued with their nuclear and missile tests.

The missile reportedly flew 800 kilometres (500 miles) into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, after it was fired from Sukchon in the country's southwest at 5.55 am local time on Thursday.

Obama issues 'robust new sanctions' on North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at a rocket warhead tip after a simulated test of atmospheric re-entry of a ballistic missile Credit: Reuters

Barack Obama has issued an executive order imposing tough new sanctions on North Korea in the wake of the country's recent nuclear and missile tests.

The US president's actions come in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test in January and a rocket launch that used ballistic missile technology on February 7, the White House said.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement."The US and the global community will not tolerate North Korea's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile activities, and we will continue to impose costs on North Korea until it comes into compliance with its international obligations."

American sentenced to 15 years hard labour in North Korea

Otto Warmbier is taken into court in Pyongyang. Credit: Reuters

An American tourist has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in North Korea for attempting to steal a propaganda banner.

Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, was convicted of subversion and sentenced following a one-hour trial on Wednesday at North Korea's Supreme Court.

Warmbier was arrested as he tried to leave the country in early January. He was in North Korea with a New Year's tour group.

Before the trial, the 21-year-old from Wyoming, Ohio, said he had tried to steal a banner as a trophy for an acquaintance who wanted to hang it in her church.

The court held that he had committed a crime "pursuant to the US government's hostile policy toward (the North), in a bid to impair the unity of its people after entering it as a tourist".

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North Korea 'creates miniature nuclear warheads'

North Korea has created miniature nuclear warheads which can be mounted on ballistic missiles, the country's leader Kim Jong Un has announced.

According to the North's KCNA news agency, he made the announcement which inspecting nuclear workers, saying it was a "true nuclear deterrent".

North Korea has been slapped with severe sanctions after carrying out a fourth nuclear test in January.

It has claimed it was a successful hydrogen bomb test, but this has been been disputed by a number of experts as well as the governments of South Korea and the United States.

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