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North Korea test-fires ballistic missile

© KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/File | This April 15, 2017 picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16, 2017 shows Korean People's ballistic missiles being displayed through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade in Pyongyang

SEOUL (AFP) - 

North Korea on Sunday test-fired a ballistic missile, the Seoul army said, the first since South Korea's new president took power.

The missile was launched from the country's northwestern city of Kusong at around 5:30 am (2030 GMT) and flew about 700 kilometres (435 miles), according to the South's Joint Chief of Staff.

"The South and US are analysing more details about the missile," it said in a statement without elaborating.

It is the second missile launch in around two weeks and the first since new South Korean leader, Moon Jae-In, was sworn in.

Moon is expected to hold a meeting with his national security advisors soon, his spokesman said.

Tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula with Pyongyang and Washington exchanging hostile rhetoric.

The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the start of last year in its quest to develop a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the US.

Washington has suggested the military option is on the table, but President Donald Trump recently appeared to soften his stance, saying he would be "honoured" to meet the North's leader Kim Jong-Un.

© 2017 AFP