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BREAKING: North Korea 'fires ballistic missile'

North Korea has fired an unidentified type of ballistic missile into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, South Korea has said. The missile was launched from an area in North Korea's western region, the South's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. Earlier, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported that the North had fired a ballistic missile.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said in his New Year speech that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and state media have said such a launch could come at any time. That prompted a vow of an "overwhelming" response from US Defence Secretary James Mattis when he travelled to South Korea earlier this month. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a number of missile-related tests at an unprecedented rate since early last year.