The missile flew eastward and the South Korean military was analysing details with the US. A Pentagon spokesman that the missile was likely an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and it had travelled about 1,000 km. Japan said the missile had reached a height of 4,000 km, with South Korea saying 4,500 km.
Donald Trump was briefed while the missile was “still in the air”, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened a meeting of cabinet officials.
Follow the latest live updates below
Japanese officials had been bracing for an imminent missile launch, saying they had detected suspicious radio signals. North Korea has menaced Japan in recent months, firing a ballistic missile over Hokkaido in September — the second time it hurled a missile over Japan — and warning that the nation should be “sunken into the sea” by a nuclear strike.
The launch marks the latest escalation of a global standoff with an increasingly assertive North Korea. The nuclear-armed hermit state has repeatedly displayed its military prowess in recent months, combining ballistic missile launches with threats of destroying Japan, the United States and the US territory of Guam. It tested a powerful hydrogen bomb for the first time.
Diplomatic constraints have failed to halt North Korea’s belligerence, with the country forging ahead with military tests despite successive rounds of United Nations sanctions targeting the country’s economy.
Welcome to our live coverage of the reaction to North Korea's latest missile launch.
Pyongyang fired a missile that landed close to Japan, the first test by Pyongyang since a missile fired over its neighbor in mid-September and the Pentagon said its initial assessment was that it was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
North Korea launched the missile a week after President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a US list of countries that Washington says support terrorism. The designation allows the United States to impose more sanctions, although some experts said it risked inflaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The Pentagon said in its initial assessment that the missile was an ICBM launched from Sain Ni in North Korea and traveled about 1,000 km before splashing down in the Sea of Japan. It added that the missile did not pose a threat to the United States its territories or allies.
It is believed to be the 7th missile this year to have landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
President Donald Trump is expected to give remarks to White House reporters at some point around 3.30pm, so that is in about five minutes.
Mr Trump was briefed on the launch of the missile while it was in the air. The president was in a meeting with Republican leadership at the time.
Japan has said that the missile was said to have reached an altitude of 4,000km on a "lofted trajectory".
The missile is said to be have reached a higher altitude than the last test by Pyongyang, according to the Pentagon.
Japan's UN Ambassador Koro Bessho says the government has told the North Koreans "that we criticise their behavior in the strongest terms possible" following the new missile launch.
He told reporters at UN headquarters in New York that "we are very concerned and we have condemned them publicly."
UN Security Council President Sebastiano Cardi said he has been in contact with key UN members, but no request has been made yet for a meeting. Mr Cardi said he is scheduled to brief the Security Council on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the EU has called the missile launch a "further violation of its international obligations".
The UN has put together numerous sanctions packages to try and force the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to comply with strict rules governing Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programmes - with little success
The launch is North Korea's first since it fired an intermediate range missile over Japan on 15 September, and it appeared to shatter chances that the hiatus could lead to renewed diplomacy over the reclusive country's nuclear programme.
US officials have sporadically floated the idea of the potential for direct talks with North Korea if it maintained restraint.
Donald Trump has said that the US will "take care" of the situation with North Korea in the wake of the latest missile launch.
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