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North Korea fired a ballistic missile Wednesday, South Korean military officials said, the first such launch in two months and just a week after the US slapped fresh sanctions on the hermit state and declared it a state sponsor of terrorism. The North has stoked international alarm over its banned nuclear missile program but before Tuesday it had not staged a missile test since September 15, raising hopes that ramped-up sanctions were having an impact.

The missile flew east from South Pyongan Province, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, adding that the South Korean and US authorities were analysing the flight route. South Korea's military staged a "precision strike" missile exercise in response, Yonhap news agency reported, also quoting the JCS. US President Donald Trump was visiting Congress at the time of the launch and "was briefed, while the missile was still in the air" according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. The president has since returned to the White House.

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