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North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile towards its eastern waters, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un vowed to bolster his nuclear arsenal "at the fastest possible pace" and threatened to use the weapons against rivals.
The launch, the North's 14th round of weapons firing, came six days before a new South Korean president takes office.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a brief statement the launch was made off the North's eastern coast but gave no further details.
Japan's Defence Ministry said North Korea had fired a possible ballistic missile without providing further details.
North Korea's unusually fast pace in weapons testing this year underscores its dual goal of advancing its missile programs and applying pressure on Washington over a deepening freeze in nuclear negotiations, experts say.
There are also signs the North is preparing for a nuclear test at its remote northeastern testing facility.
Last week, Kim Jong-un showcased his most powerful missiles during a massive military parade in the capital Pyongyang, where he vowed to develop his arsenal at the "fastest possible pace" and warned the North would proactively use its nuclear weapons if its national interests were threatened.