France's defence minister has warned that Europe could soon be within range of North Korean missiles. Florence Parly told the French military that Pyongyang could develop missiles which are capable of reaching Europe "sooner than expected".

"The scenario of an escalation towards a major conflict can not be discarded," she said during a speech on Tuesday 5 September. "Europe risks being within range of [North Korean President] Kim Jong-un's missiles sooner than expected," Parly said.

Her comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin said new sanctions against North Korea would be "useless and ineffective".

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said that he has given the go-ahead for South Korea and Japan to purchase a "substantially increased amount" of sophisticated military equipment from the United States as tensions between his government and Pyongyang continue to escalate.

Trump has previously described North Korea's nuclear programme as a "great threat" which is "very hostile and dangerous to the United States." After Pyongyang said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the Pacific island of Guam last month, the US president warned Jong-un's regime that any threats to attack US soil would be "met with fire and fury".

Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test over the weekend, which created a 6.3 magnitude tremor, making it the country's most powerful explosion so far. Hours before the test, North Korean media released pictures of Jong-un examining what it claimed was a nuclear warhead being placed on a missile.

The North had conducted five nuclear detonations in the past, two of which were carried out in 2016. Its sixth nuclear test was of a hyrdogen bomb, the regime claimed.

North Korea missile launch and Guam threat
A missile is launched during a long and medium-range ballistic rocket launch drill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang KCNA via Reuters