North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong-UnREUTERS

North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile at 07.55 local time on Saturday (February 11) that flew east towards Sea of Japan for about 500 kilometres, said South Korea's military. It was a first such test since Donald Trump became the US president in January. 

"The South Korean government and the international community are working together to take punitive actions appropriate for this launch," acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called North Korea's missile launch "absolutely intolerable." Trump said US stands behind Japan '100 percent' after Abe condemned the North Korea missile launch.

"The military is determining if the missile is a modified Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile or the shorter range Rodong missile," a South Korean military source said.

A source from the South Korean defense ministry told CNN that the launch was done from North Pyongan Province. The missile landed in the Sea of Japan, also called the East Sea. The launch reportedly involved an intermediate-rangle ballistic missile. It is the first such launch in 2017. 

A State Department official said, "We are aware of reports and monitoring the situation carefully."

During his New Year address on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had said that his country was close to launching an intercontinental ballistic missile indicating that the country was close to attacking the US. 

Trump had said that he would stop the North from acquiring such technology and the nuclear missile development will not happen without elaboration on how he intends to stop them. 

Earlier reports had said that North Korea had placed two unidentified missiles on mobile launchers for apparent test-firing.