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South Korea And US Respond To North Korea Missile Launch: Report

Tensions continue to escalate on the Korean peninsula

29/07/2017 9:01 AM AEST | Updated 29/07/2017 9:07 AM AEST

South Korea and the US have reportedly responded to North Korea's latest missile test by staging a joint ballistic missile exercise as tensions in the region continue to escalate.

The South Korean and U.S. military are said to have held the military exercise in response to a missile launch by North Korea, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Saturday, according to Reuters.

North Korea reportedly fired the missile late on Friday, local time.

The missile, which the US said was an ICBM, was capable flying more than 1,000km and reaching an altitude of 3,700 km, South Korean authorities said.

Officials confirmed to Reuters that the missile was in the air for 45 minutes before apparently crashing into the waters of Japan's exclusive economic zone.

US officials have said they believe that North Korea has the capacity to launch a missile that could reach Alaska and there have even been suggestions it could hit northern Australia.

US intelligence officials are said to believe that North Korea is close to completing a nuclear weapon that could be attached to an ICBM.

In the wake of growing concerns over several recent missile launches, US President Donald Trump has sought to work with China to quash North Korea's nuclear program.

Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with Chinese President Xi Jinping's unwillingness to increase pressure on the North, which has close historical ties with China.

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