North Korea fired a projectile into the sea towards Japan, officials from the US and South Korea have said. Officials said they believed the projectile to have been a medium-range ballistic missile.

The projectile only flew around 60km, South Korean officials said, a much shorter distance than other missiles fired towards Japan which reached around 1,000km.

"US Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:42am Hawaii time [9:42pm BST] April 4," Commander David Benham, a spokesman for US Pacific Command, said in a statement.

"The launch of a single ballistic missile occurred at a land-based facility near Sinpo ... The missile was tracked until it landed in the Sea of Japan at 11:51am. Initial assessments indicate the type of missile was a KN-15 medium range ballistic missile."

He added: "The North American Aerospace Defense Command determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America."

The firing came as North Korea continued to condemn joint military training by South Korea and the US – something the hermit kingdom describes as invasion rehearsal, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The unpredictable dictatorship carried out two nuclear tests in 2016 and many fear the county could soon have a nuclear weapon itself.

In a terse statement, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: "North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea.

"We have no further comment."

Briefing reporters on Tuesday (4 April) on North Korea's nuclear programme ahead President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, one senior White House official said "the clock has now run out, and all options are on the table."

Trump will host his Chinese counterpart at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida from Thursday (6 April) for two days of talks, with North Korea expected to be on the agenda.

In an interview the Financial Times over the weekend, Trump said that the US would consider taking action against North Korea with or without Chinese backing.