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North Korea fires unidentified projectile, military in Seoul say

North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile off its east coast, South Korea's military has said.

The statement by the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not say what type of projectile was fired or if it was successful.

North Korea has increased its test-firing of ballistic missiles over recent months as it seeks to build nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the US mainland.

It is still thought to be several years away from this goal, but each new test puts it closer to success.

The North's nuclear and missile programmes are perhaps the biggest foreign policy challenges to the new leaders in allies Washington and Seoul.

Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said what appeared to be a North Korean ballistic missile fell within Japan's exclusive maritime economic zone.

He said there was no reports of damage to planes or vessels in the area.

There was no immediate comment from North Korea's state controlled media.

But the launch followed a report from the North that said leader Kim Jong Un had watched a successful test of a new type of anti-aircraft guided weapon system. It was not clear from the report when the test happened.

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