North Korea has confirmed it “successfully” launched another medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday.
The state-run KCNA news agency said the weapon was now ready to be deployed for military action.
The White House said the missile had a shorter range than those used in North Korea’s last three tests.
It comes a week after North Korea tested what it said was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead.
Last Monday, the UN Security Council again demanded that Pyongyang conduct no further such tests.
It stressed the importance of North Korea “immediately showing sincere commitment to denuclearisation through concrete action”.
The Council is now scheduled to meet behind closed doors on Tuesday – a meeting requested by the US, South Korea and Japan.
‘Reckless and disturbing’
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch of the Pukguksong-2 missile on Sunday, KCNA reports, adding that he had “approved the deployment of this weapon system for action.”
South Korea’s foreign ministry earlier said the launch was “reckless and irresponsible”, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described it as “disappointing” and “disturbing”.
The latest missile flew about 560km (350 miles) towards the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Last week’s missile travelled about 700km.
Japanese news agencies said the missile probably fell into the sea outside Japanese waters.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference a protest had been lodged with North Korea.
North Korea is known to be developing both nuclear weapons – it has conducted five nuclear tests – and the missiles capable of delivering those weapons to their target. Both are in defiance of UN sanctions.
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