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  1. ITV Report

North Korea fires 'intercontinental ballistic missile' towards Japan

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

North Korea has launched a missile into waters off Japan in its latest highly provocative weapons test.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency was the first to report the dawn launch of what it said was an intercontinental ballistic missile from near the North's capital of Pyongyang.

The US Pentagon also confirmed that it had tracked the missile, with Japan saying that it may have landed as little as 200 miles off its coastline.

President Donald Trump reacted by saying "we will take care of it", though he offered no immediate further details.

"It is a situation that we will handle," he added.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis said the latest projectile had flown higher than any other launched by the rogue state and North Korea is developing a weapons programme that can "threaten everywhere in the world."

The firing is North Korea's first test since it launched an intermediate ballistic missile in September.

News of the test firing comes just a week after Trump designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and imposed additional sanctions on the rogue nation.

The White House said Mr Trump was briefed on the latest launch "while the missile was still in the air".

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the US and South Korean militaries were analysing the launch data. In response, it said South Korea conducted a "precision-strike" drill, without elaborating.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a bomb. Credit: PA

North Korea's last missile was also aimed towards Japan, prompting terror among some residents as warning sirens went off and people were warned to seek shelter.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on North Korea to "change course" on Tuesday.

The latest test comes amid deepening tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Mr Trump's decision to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror was an effort to force its leadership to comply with international demands that it drop its nuclear weapons programme.

However, Kim Jong-un has been unwilling to bow in an increasingly personal clash between the two leaders.

He has warned that he is ready for war and suggesting he will turn his test launches towards the US territory of Guam.