North Korea has fired its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile and poses a worldwide threat, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis has said.
Earlier the Pentagon said the missile had flown for about 1,000km (620 miles) before falling into the Sea of Japan.
The launch, early on Wednesday, is the latest in a series that have raised international tensions.
North Korea’s last ballistic missile launch was in September and came days after its sixth nuclear test.This missile test, the first for some two months, suggests that the lull in firings was not due to North Korea being cowed by Mr Trump’s rhetoric or even by Chinese pressure. Experts have indeed pointed to similar seasonal slowdowns in testing in the past.
North Korea is seemingly a problem without a solution and its nuclear and missile programmes are now, once again, back at the top of the Trump administration’s security agenda.